Vietnam is forecast to gain a trade surplus of 1 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter of 2014, when the country earned about 33.346 billion dollars from the exports while spending 32.339 billion dollars for the imports, local media reported Wednesday.
A report on the local online VnEconomy quoted data from the Vietnam General Statistics Office, saying that the trade surplus in Q1 accounted for 1.53 percent of the total export and import value during the reviewed period.
Of the figure, the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector achieved a trade surplus of nearly 4 billion dollars, while the domestic sector experienced a trade deficit of nearly 3 billion dollars.
In March alone, the export turnover reached 12 billion dollars, an increase of 26 percent over the previous month, and the import value up 22 percent to hit 12.3 billion dollars, which resulted in a trade deficit of 0.3 billion dollars.
Insiders attributed the sharp increase of both export and import value in March to the back-up activities after the long holidays of the traditional lunar new year, which fell in February.
Commodities that earned a high export value included garments and textiles with 1.6 billion dollars (up 53 percent over February) , telephones with 2 billion dollars (up 16 percent), and electronic appliances with 850 million dollars (up 37 percent).
Other traditional export items continued to post high export growth in March, including sea food with 600 million dollars (up 30 percent); rice with 255 million dollars (up 30 percent) and coffee with 448 million dollars (up 28 percent).
Meanwhile, recovery of production in March boosted more imports, with the electronic appliances, equipment and spare parts group topping the list with more than 1 billion dollars, followed by fabrics (up 24 percent) and petroleum (up 31 percent).