Friday, April 25, 2008

Vietnam posts record trade deficit of $11 billion in first four months of 2008

Vietnam posted a record trade deficit of $11.1 billion in the first four months of 2008, driven by a sharp hike in oil and gas, construction materials and fertilizer imports, officials said Friday.
Imports from January to April reached $29.4 billion, up 71 percent year-on-year, while exports amounted to $18.3 billion, up 27.6 percent, the General Statistics Office (GSO) said.
Imports of oil and petroleum products were up by 70 percent, totaling nearly $3.8 billion, the GSO said.
Imports of steel and fertilizer in the period rocketed respectively by 153 percent and 165 percent from last year.
Vietnam imported cars worth a total of $991 million, up 333.2 percent year-on-year, prior to the government's decision to increase the import duty on cars from 70 percent to 83 percent.
Export revenues mainly came from crude oil and textiles.
Crude oil exports amounted to nearly $3.5 billion, up 46.2 percent compared to the same period last year, while textiles and garment exports were valued at $2.6 billion, up 24.5 percent.
Vietnam exported 1.6 million tonnes of rice in the period, up 11.6 percent against the same time last year, bringing in $775 million.
The country attracted $7.2 billion of foreign direct investments over the period, up 52.9 percent year-on-year.
Vietnam's industrial production was estimated at $13.4 billion, increasing 16.4 percent against the same period last year.
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