The trade deficit continued its down-turn, falling to 8.9
billion USD in the first 11 months of 2011, a year-on-year decrease of 1.7
billion USD, the General Statistics Office (GSO) said.
The GSO said
growth in exports had been higher than imports in current months.
first 11 months of this year, export turnover was 22.5 billion USD, up 34.7
percent over the same period last year. Meanwhile, imports in the same period
rose 26.4 percent, worth 96.07 billion USD.
"The price of many
Vietnamese exports has increased in the current time so that the export turnover
has been pushed up," said head of the office's Trade Department Le Thi Minh
"The price of agriculture products increased by up to 66 percent
while the price of crude oil increased by 43.6 percent," Thuy added.
the contrary, Thuy noted, the prices of some imported raw materials such as
fuel, cotton, rubber and steel had dropped over two months.
"Furthermore, the demand to import raw materials to serve domestic
production has remained steady as many companies cut down production due to
challenges caused by financial difficulties, high inflation, banking interest
rates as well as high foreign exchange rates," she said.
time, many exports saw significant development. Coffee reached the highest
growth in value (52.8 percent) followed by cashews (32.9 percent), garments and
textiles (28 percent) and footwear (25.8 percent).
experiencing increased value included fertiliser (53.9 percent) and rubber (52
Thuy predicted that import value in the last month of this
year would increase to serve production in order to meet coming New Year
The industrial sectors of steel, electronics and
autos, often considered pillars of the economy, are currently the main cause of
the country's high trade deficit, industry insiders have said.
situation is quite different from that in other regional countries where the
three industries are often the major export earners. In Malaysia , for example,
the country earns up to 60 billion USD per year from exports of electronic
products. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the three industries
made up a trade deficit of nearly 10 billion USD out of the country's total
deficit of nearly 13 billion USD last year.
The ministry reported that
the electronics industry last year exported goods worth a total of 3.15 billion
USD, but had to spend 5.14 billion USD to import completed products and parts.
The same situation was seen with the auto industry that saw an import
value of 2.9 billion USD of cars and components last year against an export
value of 1.5 billion USD.
The steel industry was the main culprit last
year, spending 7 billion USD on imports of steel products and ingots while
earning only 1 billion USD from exports.
This year, the steel industry
trade deficit has been estimated at 4 billion USD, the electronics industry at
nearly 3 billion USD and the auto industry at 1 billion USD.
attributed the shortage to the flood of cheap Chinese products into the domestic
market and a tax reduction in accordance with the country's commitment to the
ASEAN Free Trade Area.
However, the restriction of supporting industries
was the main cause of the high trade deficit as the three industries had to
import nearly all materials and components for production.
the Vietnam Steel Association Pham Chi Cuong said that the country's steel
production was still in its fledgling stages and had to mainly depend on
imported steel ingots.
The industry has to import roughly 45 percent of
steel ingots and 80 percent of scrap for domestic steel production.
Cuong said the steel industry could currently only produce construction
steel, not high-quality products such as heat-resistant flat steel and alloy
steel, so almost all of that had to be imported.
industry also has to import 90 per cent of components while the auto industry
imports 80 percent of parts.
Experts said they had concerns that it
would be difficult to reduce the trade deficit caused by the three industries'
imports in the future because supporting industries would not be able to catch
up with domestic demand. /.