Jan-Jul deficit with northern neighbor more than five times higher than total.
In the first seven months of 2015 total imports from China reached nearly $28.4 billion, a 20 per cent increase compared with same period last year, according to Vietnam Customs. Vietnam’s exports to China, meanwhile, increased only $9 billion, or 5 per cent.
The trade deficit with China for the period stood at $19.4 billion; $14.9 billion higher year-on-year and equal to 67 per cent of the trade deficit with the country in 2014.
Rising imports include raw materials for garments and shoes, steel, computers, electronic products, household electrical goods, phones and components, machinery, equipment, tools, and spare parts. Vietnam also imported more than 18,000 motor vehicles from China in the first seven months, mostly trucks, a three-fold increase over the same period last year and costing $696 million.
China remains the major market for Vietnam’s agriculture exports, such as seafood, vegetables, and rice. Total export of these commodities in the first seven months reached nearly $2 billion, more or less the same as last year.
Vietnam’s total exports in the first seven months stood at $91.76 billion, 9 per cent higher year-on-year. Imports were $95.28 billion, an increase of 16 per cent, for an overall trade deficit of $3.52 billion, or 3.8 per cent of total exports, which comes within the government’s goal of less than 5 per cent. The trade deficit with China is 5.5 times higher than the total trade deficit.