The country is estimated to face a trade deficit of US$200 million in the first four months of the year, equal to 2.3 percent of the country’s total export value, the General Statistics Office (GSO) reported.
GSO said that export value in April declined 9.3 percent over the previous month to US$8.6 billion, bringing the total four-month turnover to US$33.4 billion, up 22.1 percent over the same period last year.
Four-month exports of foreign invested enterprises surged sharply by 36.4 percent to US$20.65 billion, while the export growth of Vietnamese firms was only 4.3 percent to US$12.8 billion.
GSO attributed the decrease of export value in April to difficulties faced by exporters in both the market and prices. Sharp declines in export value affected electric products and computers with a slide of 20.9 percent, coffee by 25 percent, garments by 7.3 percent, timber and woodwork products by 16.7 percent, and seafood by 7.4 percent.
The EU was the largest importer of Vietnamese goods with a value of US$5.7 billion, accounting for 17.1 percent of the country’s total export turnover. The US followed with an import value of US$5.6 billion.
Meanwhile, Vietnam spent US$9 billion on imports in April, down 0.6 percent over the previous month. April’s result raised the first four months’ import value to US$33.6 billion, up 4.4 percent year-on-year.
Among the import value in January-April period, US$7.9 billion was from China while US$6.6 billion was from ASEAN countries. Economist Pham Chi Lan was concerned that April’s decline of import value or a low demand of imported materials at this time showed that the domestic industrial production would continuously slowdown in the next months.
As domestic industrial production depends mainly on imported materials, local producers often have to import materials in the early months of the year to be able to churn out products by the middle or end of the year, she explained.
By contrast, domestic and foreign enterprises operating in the capital have recorded a total export revenue of US$780.4 million in April, up 4.4 percent against last month and 10.4 percent compared with the same period last year.
Of the total, the export turnover of local businesses rose by 4.6 percent and 10 percent, respectively.