VIETRADE – Exports of February compensate for the previous month
Export revenue of February was estimated to reach 8.2 billion USD, increasing by 15.6% in comparison to the previous month and by 66.3% over than that of February 2011. Although February is the month right after the Lunar New Year, a long holiday in Vietnam, exports of February increased constantly, compensating for exports of January. The total export revenue of the first two months of 2012 reached 15.295 billion USD, up 24.8% over than that of 2011; of which the FDI sector gained 8.6 billion USD up by 49.2%. We also found the “champion” of 2011, the textiles and garment sector, gaining 2.1 billion, up 25.4% more than the average rate. The next two commodities reaching over 1 billion dollars are crude oil and shoes. Therefore, export revenue of three commodities have already been over 1 billion USD.
Meanwhile, agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector only equaled to 91% of the export revenue of the same period in 2011 because it’s not the time to harvest some products. Exports of seafood products in the first month only reached 363 million USD, down 16.4% compared to the same period of 2011 due to the decreased exports to main markets, in which EU markets down 35%, German and Spain down over 40%, the US down 17.5%, Japan 6.8% and ASEAN markets 11%. However, thanks to the recovery of February, the total export revenue of the first two months increases by 15%.
Exports of rice in the first two months was estimated at 556 thousand tons, in terms of volume and value, equaling to half of that of 2011 because not many contracts have been signed. Vietnamese rice was in competition with India and Myanmar. Indonesia still stayed the leading import market of Vietnamese rice; however, in terms of export volume and value, only equaled to two thirds of the same period of the last year.
Exports of rubber in the first two months was estimated 94% of the same period last year due to the slackness of exports through Mong Cai border gate. Small-volume trade through Luc Lam and La Phu border gates was still low. Since the Lunar New Year, Chinese big-sized enterprises have not signed any contract to import rubber from Vietnam. China has promoted companies to import rubber mixture. Therefore, Vietnamese companies have built manufacturing entities in Mong Cai to process rubber mixture for exports.
The processing industry increased by 42% thanks to the increase of many products. Besides the two main products, textiles & garment and leather & shoes, exports of cellular phone gained a high growth since the beginning of this year. Products made from steel and rubber, bags, hats, etc. also increased more than the average increase of exports.
Exports of wood and wooden products in January 2012 decreased by 7.1% as compared to that of 2011 due to temporary interrupt of trade during the Tet holiday in Vietnam and China. Among products exported to China, 95% are low-value raw materials, semi-products, tiny wood, plywood, etc.
Imports increase lower than exports
Import value of February 2012 was estimated to reach 9 billion USD, up by 30% in comparison to that of January and 47.1% to that of February 2012. For the first two months, import value was estimated to reach 15,923 billion USD, up 11.8% compared to the same period of 2011; in which import value of local companies was nearly 7.7 billion USD, down 6.4%, accounting for 48.3% of the total import value; that of 100% foreign capital companies was 8.2 billion USD, up 36.8%, accounting for 51.7%.
Some products in the group of necessary import products increase more than the average rate of general imports. Electronics, computers and components increase 101.4%; iron and steel 16.6%; steel products 28.5%, chemical products 22.2%, wood and wooden materials 64.7%. Products which have the increasing rate of one-digit include machinery, equipment, tools and components 4.2%, cloth 4.5%, plastic 9.2% and materials of textiles, garment and shoes 9.8%.
The reasons why import value in the first two months increased are raising volume and average price; in which the price of iron and steel up 1.4%, fertilizer 15.4%, oil and petro up to 18.5%.
Imports of cars in February 2012 continued to decrease compared to January. However, due to the increased price, the value import of the first two months decreased less than the quantity.
Imports of other groups does not account a big rate, but the increasing rate is rather high, up to 123.5% compared to February 2011. Therefore, we should take over the control of these products.
Stable trade deficit
In February, trade deficit was 800 million USD, but with January’s trade surplus, the number of trade deficit of the first two months of 2012 was 628 million USD, accounting for 4.1% of the total exports. However, the FDI sector (not including crude oil) had the trade surplus of 360 million USD. Vietnam mainly faces trade deficit with China (2.3 billion USD), ASEAN countries (about 883.8 million USD), South Korea (nearly 1.6 billion USD) and Taiwan (801 million USD).
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