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Vietnam Export Reviews
13 | 06 | 2007
Exports depend on many factors including the source, quantity, category and quality of exported commodities, the export price, marketing and advertisement activities, and also the importing market.
Among those factors, the export market plays a crucial role because it has a direct effect on the other factors and on the growth of total export value. So how is the export market in first months of this year and what problems need to be resolved?
 
Asia remains the largest importer from Vietnam, accounting for 45 per cent of the country’s total export revenue. However, the export ratio of Vietnam’s commodities into the Asian market is gradually falling, attributed to lower export growth to this market in comparison with overall growth. Exports even fell in some nations and territories. Japan, the second largest importer of Vietnam in the world after the US and the largest importer in Asia, spent only US$1.6 billion on Vietnamese exports in first four months this year, up 2.5 per cent on year (the growth was even minus 1.6 per cent in the first quarter). The reduction is arguably a result of the Japanese government’s recent restriction on imports of Vietnam’s aquatic products after it found excessive antibiotic residues in these products.
 
Meanwhile, China, the fourth importer of Vietnam on the global level and the second in Asia, paid US$1 billion for Vietnamese goods in first four months, representing a slight increase. In terms of bilateral trade, Vietnam always suffers a trade deficit, estimated at US$1.134 billion in the first quarter, the biggest compared to other nations and territories.
 
In short, trade between Vietnam and other Asian countries during past months had three main features: the biggest scale compared with other continents, the lowest growth pace, and the largest trade deficit. 

The US, the largest importer of Vietnam, spent US$2.8 billion on Vietnamese commodities during the first four months, making up 19.7 per cent of Vietnam’s total export turnover, an 23.1 per cent on-year increase.

 
Vietnam’s largest forex earners were garments and textiles, (US$1.2 billion, up 32.9 per cent on-year), footwear (US$290 million), and wooden products (US$27 million). Vietnam also faces a huge trade deficit with the US, US$1.967 billion in the first quarter.
 
However, exports to the US market may face an anti-dumping monitoring programme, scheduled to start in August, which impacts the appeal of exports even now.
 
The EU is considered a high potential import market for Vietnam, as the Southeast Asian nation earned US$2.8 billion in first four months, accounting for 19.4 per cent of Vietnam’s total export turnover, up 26.5 per cent on year.
 
Australia was the third largest importer of Vietnam in the first quarter, with US$947.7 million spending, up 35.8 per cent. Vietnam had a trade surplus of US$803.4 million in the first three months, the second largest trade surplus in a single market, only after the US.
 
In general, Vietnam’s exports tend to rise sharply except for the Asian market. However, policymakers should address two main issues: the huge trade gap from Asia and the heavy dependence on several key export markets.


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