Import turnovers reached an estimate of US$ 27.4 billion in two beginning months of the year, up 19.6% from the same period last year, of which the domestic economic sector gained US$ 11.1 billion, up 22%; the FDI sector achieved US$ 16.3 billion, up 18%.
About the import market in the first two months of the year, China was still the biggest import market of Vietnam with the turnover of US$ 8 billion, up 23.8% against 2016’s corresponding period. The next were South Korea with US$ 5.6 billion, up 35%; ASEAN with US$ 3.6 billion, up 11%; Japan with US$ 2 billion, down 0.2%; EU with US$ 1.7 billion, up 24.6%; the United States with US$ 1.4 billion, up 31.4%.
About the trade balance of goods in January 2017, trade surplus was US$ 1.15 billion. Estimated in February 2017, trade deficit was US$ 1.2 billion, of which the domestic economic sector had a trade deficit of US$ 2.12 billion; the FDI sector (including crude oil) had a trade surplus of US$ 925 million. In general, in two beginning months of 2017, trade deficit was US$ 46 million, of which the domestic economic sector had a trade deficit of US$ 3.48 billion; the FDI sector (including crude oil) had a trade surplus of US$ 3.43 billion.
Vietnam’s imports of fertilizer from Japan in January of this year increased sharply by 845.39 per cent over the same period last year to US$ 3.3 million.
Vietnam spent $ 875.6 million on importing goods from Japan in January, fell by 11.53 per cent over the same month of last year, showed the statistics figures of the General Department of Customs.
In January of this year, Vietnam’s imports of fertilizer from Japan increased sharply by 845.39 per cent to $ 3.3 million; while the imports of ores and minerals increased by 376.26 per cent to $ 740,400.
Vietnam imported nearly US$ 96.6 million in the first month of this year, slightly increased by 0.7 per cent over the same month of last year.
The figure fell sharply by 25 per cent over the previous month, showed the statistics figures of the General Department of Customs.
India was the biggest seafood import market of Vietnam in January, accounted for nearly 29 per cent of the total with the import value of nearly $ 28 million, down by 27 per cent year – on – year and by 30 per cent over the previous month.
The other import markets of seafood were Norway - $ 8.1 million, up by 6.8 per cent; Taiwan - $ 7.3 million, up by 28 per cent; Japan - $ 6.2 million, up by 15 per cent; and Indonesia – nearly $ 4 million.
In the first month of this year, the country’s imports of seafood from Russia and Canada increased sharply by 496 per cent and 403 per cent, respectively year – on – year; the imports from the Philippines and China also increased by 104 per cent and nearly 59 per cent.
Meanwhile, the imports from Poland, South Korea and Chile fell sharply by 43.65 per cent; 35 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively.
Machines, equipment and spare parts
In the first two months of 2017, machines, equipment and spare parts were leading the list of items imported by Vietnam from Germany with 40.1 per cent of the country’s total import value in the period.
Vietnam imported US$ 424.8 million worth of goods from Germany in the first 2 months of this year, increased by 14.25 per cent over the same period last year, showed the statistics figures of the General Department of Customs.
Machines, equipment and spare parts were the leading items imported by the country from Germany in the period with the import value of $ 170.7 million, down by 5.07 per cent year – on – year.
Iron and Steel
In the first 2 months of this year, the country’s imports of iron and steel from Germany increased by 180.32 per cent year – on – year.
Vegetables and fruits
The country’s import of vegetables and fruits saw strong growth in the first two months of 2017, especially from Thailand and China.
Vietnam spent $164 million on the import of vegetables and fruits in the first two months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 54.7 per cent, the general Department of Customs said.
Most imports were from Thailand, which accounted for 50 per cent or $82 million, and China, which stood at 19 per cent or $31 million, of the total vegetable and fruit imports.
Other major markets that Vietnam has imported vegetables and fruits from are the US for a value of $13 million, New Zealand for $3.8 million and Australia for $2.5 million.
The import value of vegetables and fruits from Thailand in the first two months doubled compared to the same period in 2016, the general department said.
Since 2012, Vietnam’s average import value of vegetable and fruit products has surged from $200 million per year to $1 billion.
According to the ministries of agriculture and rural development and of industry and trade, the country has been importing vegetable and fruit products mostly from Asia Pacific countries. The main items imported include cabbage, lettuce, potato, orange and apple from China; apple, orange and cherry from New Zealand and Australia; and mango, custard apple and tamarind from Thailand, dantri.com.vn has reported.
Recently, the general Department of Customs warned that many goods that are being produced locally have been imported, increasingly the trade deficit. This included vegetables and fruits from China, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.
The department pointed out that vegetable and fruit imports from Thailand have increased sharply in the past two years, and that many of these products are already produced at home.
Thai vegetables and fruit entered the local market via distribution channels of hypermarkets and modern retail shops after Thai retail groups bought two large hypermarkets, Big C and Metro, in 2015 and 2016. They have been promoting Thai products at the hypermarkets as well as retail sale systems in Vietnam.
Also, since 2015, the country eliminated import tariffs on ordinary goods from Thailand.
Vu Vinh Phu, chair of the Hanoi Supermarket Association, said Vietnam should only import vegetables and fruits that it did not produce locally, such as cherries. It was importing fruits that it grows, such as longan, mango, durian and dragon fruit, which has affected the Vietnamese vegetable and fruit producers, whose competitive ability in terms of quality and price is weak, reported vneconomy.vn.
Local enterprises should improve quality of products and increase production, Phu said, adding that they should be competitive in terms of not just price, but also quality and customer care.
In the first two months of this year, Vietnam’s imports of automobile from India rocketed by 858 per cent in quantity over the same period last year, but the import value was down by 5.9 per cent.
Vietnam spent $ 309.7 million on imports of 15,275 CBU (complete built unit) autos in the first 2 months of this year, up by 32.8 per cent in quantity and by 6.8 per cent in value over the same period of 2016, showed the statistics figures of the General Department of Customs.
In February of this year, the country imported 8,027 autos worth of $ 158
4 million, up by 9.4 per cent in quantity and 3.6 per cent in value compared with the previous month.
Thailand was leading the list of the country’s major auto import markets with 5,714 units worth of $ 110.3 million. It was followed by Indonesia with 3,108 units worth of $ 53.6 million; South Korea – 2,045 units worth of $ 27.9 million; India – 1,724 units worth of $ 6.8 million; China – 457 units worth of $ 17.2 million; Japan – 747 units worth of $ 21.4 million.
In the first 2 months of this year, the country’s imports of autos from India rocketed by 858 in quantity per cent year – on – year; while the imports from Indonesia increased sharply by 343 per cent in quantity and 564 per cent in value.
The drop in import tax on cars from Asean countries has led a hike in car imports to Vietnam in the first two months of this year, especially from Thailand.
The tax was reduced from 40 per cent to 30 per cent under the Asean Free Trade Agreement (FTA) early this year. It will be zero per cent by 2018.
According to statistics from Vietnam Customs, the country imported 8,027 completely built-up units worth $158.4 million in February, increasing by 627 units but reducing by $5.3 million in value.
Of the figure, nearly 3,160 cars came from Thailand, or 43.2 per cent of the country’s total imports, 21 per cent higher than the previous month.
It was followed by the Republic of Korea with 1,444 units and Indonesia with 1,285 units.
India, which was for many months the leader in exporting cars to Vietnam, however, witnessed a decline in February with 718 units. Cars from the South Asian country had the lowest value with an average price of $4,255 each.
Cell phones and accessories
In January of this year, Vietnam’s imports of cell phones and accessories from the U.S rocketed by 2,629 per cent year – on – year to US$ 8.5 million.
Vietnam imported US$ 834.5 million worth of cell phones and accessories in January of this year, increased by 12 per cent over the same month of last year and decreased by nearly 16.6 per cent over the previous month, showed the statistics figures of the General Department of Customs.
China and South Korea were leading the list of the country’s major import markets of cell phones and accessories. The imports from China reached $ 493 million, down by 2.6 per cent year – on – year and by 22.5 per cent month – on – month, and accounted for over 59 per cent of the total.
South Korea ranked second with $ 250.3 million, up by 24.7 per cent year – on – year, and down by 4.7 per cent month – on – month.
The other big import markets of cell phones and accessories were Hong Kong - $ 24.4 million; the U.S - $ 8.5 million; Japan - $ 2.5 million; Taiwan - $ 0.7 million; and the U.K - $ 0.9 million.
In the first month of this year, the country’s imports of cell phones and accessories from the U.S rocketed by 2,629 per cent over the same period last year; and the imports from the U.K also increased sharply by 365.8 per cent; and from Hong Kong – up by 172 per cent.
However, the imports from Taiwan and Japan decreased by 52 per cent and 40 per cent over the same period of 2016.