Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

The domestic sector posted a trade deficit of 4.4 billion USD while the foreign direct investment sector, including crude oil, recorded a trade surplus of 7.2 billion USD.

Accordingly, the export revenue of goods in the first quarter was estimated at 59.08 billion USD, up 0.5 percent year-on-year. Eight groups of commodities saw export turnover surpassing the 1 billion USD benchmark, accounting for 70.6 percent of the total.

The US remained Vietnam’s largest importer with a total value of 15.5 billion USD, up 16.2 percent annually. It was followed by China with 8.4 billion USD, up 11.5 percent; the European Union 7.5 billion USD, down 14.9 percent; ASEAN 6 billion USD, down 5.2 percent; Japan 4.8 billion USD, up 3.5 percent; and the Republic of Korea (RoK) 4.5 billion USD, down 2.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the country’s goods imports decreased by 1.9 percent to 56.26 billion USD. Up to 14 kinds of goods spent more than 1 billion USD each, or 72.9 percent of the total.

Production materials were bought for an estimated 52.6 billion USD, down 1.2 percent annually and equivalent to 93.5 percent of the combined. Expenditure on consumer goods stood at 3.66 billion USD, down 10.6 percent, accounting for 6.5 percent of the total.

China remained the largest exporter of commodities to Vietnam with a turnover of 13.3 billion USD, down 18 percent year-on-year. It was followed by the RoK with 11.7 billion USD, up 2.4 percent; ASEAN 7.2 billion USD, down 8.3 percent; Japan 4.9 billion USD, up 15.8 percent; the EU 3.4 billion USD, up 5.2 percent and the US 3.4 billion USD, up 13 percent.

The GSO predicted that once the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) takes effect, Vietnam’s exports to the EU will soar by over 20 percent this year and the growth will be on the rise in the following years. Aquatic products are expected to benefit most from the deal.

The EU is now the second largest importer of Vietnamese aquatic products, behind the US.

Vietnam’s shipment of farm produce to the EU is also forecast to hike by around 10 percent this year./.

CPV/VNA