Increasing orders, exports continue to thrive in the first five months of the year

VCN - Export turnover to most major markets and trade partners has seen a strong recovery and high growth rates in the past five months, reaching double digits.
Seafood businesses clearly point out barriers affecting exports Seafood businesses clearly point out barriers affecting exports
Exports up 13.8% in first half: ministry Exports up 13.8% in first half: ministry
Increasing orders, exports continue to thrive in the first five months of the year
Exports in five months estimated at US$156.77 billion, up 15.2% year-on-year

Fruits and vegetables continue to thrive

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), along with the global market's recovery, export orders have increased, leading to a continued positive performance in import-export activities in the first five months of the year. In May, the total import-export turnover of goods was estimated at US$66.62 billion, up 9.1% from the previous month and 22.6% year-on-year. For the first five months of 2024, the total import-export turnover reached US$305.53 billion, an increase of 16.6% year-on-year, with exports estimated at US$156.77 billion, up 15.2% compared to the same period in 2023.

According to the General Department of Customs, the country's trade balance in May showed an estimated trade deficit of US$1 billion. However, the overall trade balance for the first five months of 2024 is estimated to have a trade surplus of US$8.01 billion (compared to a surplus of US$10.2 billion in the same period last year). The domestic economic sector had a trade deficit of US$11.26 billion, while the foreign-invested sector (including crude oil) had a trade surplus of US$19.27 billion.

Among the export categories, fruits and vegetables continue to see strong growth. Nguyen Thanh Binh, Chairman of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association, stated that as of May 20, the export value of Vietnam's fruits and vegetables reached US$2.49 billion, up 25.7% compared to the same period in 2023. Exports to key markets continue to rise sharply, including China, South Korea, the US, Japan, and Thailand.

According to the Export-Import Department (MoIT), with the current growth momentum, it is forecasted that fruit and vegetable exports will continue to see positive growth. Increased demand from the Chinese market will be a key factor driving this growth.

Wood and wood products show positive recovery in the first five months of 2024, exports of wood and wood products were estimated at US$6.1 billion, up 23.5% compared to the same period in 2023. The export value of wood products alone was estimated at US$4.16 billion, up 22.8% year-on-year. According to the Export-Import Department, the wood market is rebounding, with export activities for most wood and wood products showing positive growth. High growth rates in the export of wooden furniture items are attributed to improved consumer signals in major markets such as the US and EU. Additionally, many wood industry enterprises have been updating market trends and shifting from outsourcing to designing new, attractive, high-quality products that have received high praise from international buyers. This indicates that Vietnam's wood processing and furniture industry is on the right track, aiming not only to increase export value but also to gradually enhance the position and brand of Vietnamese wood products in the international market.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Phan Thi Thang noted that with advantages in geographical location, natural conditions, favorable soil, and incentives from 16 bilateral and regional FTAs signed and implemented with many global partners, especially the CPTPP and the EVFTA, Vietnam's agricultural and food exports have consistently maintained double-digit growth in recent years. These FTAs have created a significant competitive advantage for strategic agricultural, forestry, and fishery products by committing to tariff reductions, particularly for processed products. They also enhance the attraction of high-quality foreign investment in the agricultural sector, contributing to deeper and more sustainable integration into the global supply chain.

Positive export performance across three groups

The MoIT assessed that in the past five months, exports have grown strongly and uniformly across three groups of goods. Notably, the agricultural group has sustained its growth momentum from 2023 to the present, with total export turnover of this group estimated at US$15.18 billion, up 22% year-on-year, accounting for 9.68% of the total export turnover. Most items in this group achieved high double-digit export growth compared to the same period last year, such as coffee (up 43.9%), rice (up 38.2%), various teas (up 20.1%), fruits and vegetables (up 28.2%), cashew nuts (up 19.3%), pepper (up 19.7%), and cassava products (up 19.2%).

For the processed industrial group, export turnover was estimated at US$132.42 billion, accounting for 84.5% of total exports, up 14.9% year-on-year. Many product groups achieved high export growth rates, including key export items such as cameras, camcorders, and components (up 61.2%); computers, electronic products, and components (up 33.4%); plastic products (up 29.6%); wood and wood products (up 23.5%); various steels (up 10.9%); machinery, equipment, tools, and spare parts (up 11.8%); textiles and garments (up 6.3%); footwear (up 7.1%); and phones and components (up 11.6%).

Additionally, the export turnover of mineral fuels was estimated at US$1.96 billion, up 16.2% year-on-year.

Remarkably, export turnover to most major markets and trade partners in the past five months has recovered well, achieving high double-digit growth. The US remains Vietnam's largest export market, with an estimated turnover of US$43.98 billion, accounting for 28% of total exports, up 21% year-on-year (compared to a nearly 20% decrease in the same period last year). Following are the Chinese market with an estimated turnover of US$22.65 billion, up 10.2%; the EU market with US$20.69 billion, up 16.1%; South Korea with US$10.4 billion, up 12.8%; and Japan with US$9.5 billion, up 4.7%.

Despite continuous export growth month by month, the MOIT acknowledges that Vietnam's import-export activities in 2024, especially exports to key markets such as Europe and the Americas, will face both opportunities and challenges. Vietnam's exports are also affected by the global economic situation and political conflicts in many regions. Additionally, increasing protectionist policies in various countries and a greater focus on sustainable development, climate change mitigation, and consumer safety by developed nations continue to set new standards and regulations for supply chains, raw materials, labor, and environmental aspects of imported products. Furthermore, diversification of supply sources outside of China, focusing on nearby partners and equivalent partners to Vietnam like Turkey, Mexico, India, Indonesia, and Bangladesh, will increase competition in Vietnam's export markets.

By Ngoc Linh/ Ha Thanh

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