Figures of the GSO showed Vietnam posted crude oil exports of nearly US$1.25 billion in the January-April period, 44.5% of the figure in the same period last year, though volume picked up 12% year-on-year to 2.93 million tons.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade attributed the crude oil export price slide of 50.5% in the period to the strong drop in export turnover.
Trade deficit in the January-April period was estimated at about US$3 billion, or 6% of export turnover, while the country enjoyed a trade surplus of US$2 billion in the same period last year.
Domestic companies ran a trade deficit of US$5.7 billion while foreign-invested enterprises registered a surplus of US$2.7 billion with crude oil exports included, which was US$5.8 billion lower than a year ago.
The high trade deficit in the first four months was also caused by the shrinking export volume and price of farm products and the rising imports of machines and equipment.
The farm items whose export prices were down in the period included rice (down 4.6%), rubber (down 27.8%), cassava and related items (down 3.2%).
This was also the main reason behind the low export growth of 8.2% versus the first four months of last year, according to the ministry.
Statistics of the ministry showed that of the US$50.1 billion export revenue in January-April, domestic firms contributed US$15 billion, down 1%, while foreign-invested enterprises accounted for US$35.1 billion, up 12.6% and equivalent to 70% of the country’s total. If crude oil was excluded, exports of the foreign-invested sector were US$33.8 billion, up 17%.
Meanwhile, goods imports in the period jumped 19.9% to US$53.1 billion. The products with strong import rises were autos worth US$1.8 billion (up 96.4%); machines and equipment US$9.5 billion (up 44.4%); and electronic devices, computers and components US$7.5 billion (up 36.4%).