Trade slips to three-year low

Vietnam’s trade in the first 11 months fell 8% to US$620 billion, its lowest point in three years, as factories scale down operations due to the ongoing shortage of orders.

Exports in the period dropped 6% to $322.5 billion, an improvement from a decline of 12% in the first few months this year.

The U.S. was Vietnam’s biggest export market at $88 billion, down 13% year-on-year. China came second at $56 billion.

Imports tumbled 11% to $297 billion, with foreign investors posting a decline of 11.7% in their imports of materials, machines, and goods. The decrease was 9% for domestic firms.

China was Vietnam’s largest import market at $100 billion, followed by South Korea ($48 billion) and ASEAN ($37.6 billion).

Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of $26 billion, 2.5 times more than last year’s total, and the highest figure in a decade.

Foreign firms net exported $45.8 billion while domestic firms net imported $20 billion.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade expects improvements in trade this month, thanks to a recovery in major markets and cooling inflation in the U.S., China, and Europe.

The government body will collaborate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to negotiate with China to export more fresh produce such as green-skinned grapefruit, fresh coconut, avocado, pineapple, star apple, lemon, melon.