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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        28  June 2011

Vietnam forecasts trade deficit of US$6.6 billion

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Vietnam's export value in June was estimated to hit US$7.8 billion, lifting the total export value in the first half of this year to more than $42.33 billion, a rise of 30.3 percent over the same period a year earlier, according to the General Statistics Office.

The import value in June was forecast to reach $8.2 billion, bringing the total value for the first six months to almost $49 billion, a year-on-year increase of 25.8 percent.

According to these figures, the trade deficit for the first half of the year is estimated to reach more than US$6.65 billion – the highest it has been since the beginning of this year. The trade deficit was just $1 billion in January, $1.83 billion for the first two months, $3.03 billion for the first three months, $4.9 billion for the first four months and nearly $6.59 billion for the first five months.

The January-June trade gap accounts for 15.7 percent of the export value during the period, lower than the Government's target of 16 percent set for the whole year. However, according to the statistics office (GSO), the trade deficit actually made up 18.1 percent if the value of gold exports was excluded during that period.

Le Minh Thuy, head of the GSO's Trade Department, blamed the high trade deficit in the first half on the high import demand of domestic enterprises which was worth nearly $27.58 billion, a rise of 22.9 per cent year-on-year, and higher than the import value of foreign-invested enterprises which was worth $21.41 billion, a rise of 29.7 percent year-on-year.

The import value of machinery-equipment-devices, and accessories and spare parts was the highest, reaching over $6.93 billion, a rise of nearly 11 percent year-on-year. Due to the increased global prices, the value of fuel imports reached $5.49 billion, a rise of 40.3 percent year-on-year, despite the volume being down 2.1 percent.

The import value of many of raw materials used for domestic production also rose due to increased global prices, including plastics up 31.5 percent; fabric, 38.1 percent; steel, 7 per cent; electronics, computers and spare parts, 23.2 percent and cotton, 103.6 percent.

Agricultural imports also climbed, with the import value of wheat reaching $467 million, a rise of 58.5 percent; cooking oil $404 million, up 39.1 percent; vegetables $407 million, up 14 per- cent and seafood $206 million, up 35.5 percent .

Automobile imports reached almost $1.55 billion, a rise of 16 percent, of which imports of CBU (complete built unit) reached 31,600 units worth $593 million, an increase of 37.1 percent in volume and 45.9 percent in value.


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