Vietnam hit a trade deficit of 145.5 million U.S. dollars in the first 10 months of 2013, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs on Tuesday.
The updated figure is lower than the previous forecast of 187 million dollars.
Statistics from the Customs department showed that the country' s total export turnover in the first 10 months reached over 108.72 billion dollars, a rise of 16 percent year on year, and import turnover was nearly 108.87 billion dollars, up 15.92 percent.
In October alone, the export turnover reached 12.61 billion dollars, surging 12.8 percent over September, while the import turnover was 12.51 billion dollars, up 11 percent, resulting in a trade surplus of 100 million dollars for the whole month.
The department said the return of a trade balance surplus was due to a surge in exports of key items in the second half of October, including mobile phones (295 million dollars), crude oil (216.6 million dollars), shoes (174.12 million dollars), aquatic products (145.2 million dollars), computers and spare parts (116.1 million dollars) and garments (104 million dollars).
Meanwhile, import staples including machinery and equipment, spare parts and crude oil were up 16 percent against the same period last year, according to the official data.
The spike was due to increases across a range of products, including machinery and equipment (152 million dollars), fabrics ( 150 million dollars), steel (92.4 million dollars) and crude oil ( 91 million dollars).
But imports of mobile phones, spare parts and cattle-feed decreased in the second half of October.
The department said foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises continued to be a driving force in import-export activities, as the sector recorded export revenues of 66.71 billion dollars in the first 10 months (excluding crude oil), surging 28.3 percent year-on-year and accounting for 61 percent of the country's total export value.
Meanwhile, their import revenues in the 10-month period hit 61. 94 billion dollars, up 25.6 percent year on year and accounting for 56.9 percent of the total import value.