Smartphone production seen in a factory in Hai Phong. Photo by VnExpress/Tuan Hung.
Vietnam’s trade surplus reached a record $9.12 billion in the first 11 months despite a steep plunge in November.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the nation’s January-November trade surplus rose 19.7 percent year-on-year, the highest growth recorded since 2012.
In this period, the export of 32 items were worth over $1 billion each, and five topped $10 billion each.
Phones and phone parts led exports at $48.7 billion, up 5.4 percent year-on-year, followed by electronics at $32.4 billion, up 19.4 percent.
Textile exports rose 7.8 percent to $29.9 billion despite reduced orders from major markets.
However the trade surplus in November plunged steeply to just $100 million from the $1.86 billion recorded in October, the ministry said.
It also said the surplus is set to fall further as imports typically rise towards the end of the year and before Tet, Vietnam’s Lunar New Year festival, which falls in January next year.
Another reason for the falling surplus is the fact that Samsung, the largest foreign investor in Vietnam, will import more electronics parts to launch new products in the first quarter next year, the ministry said.
Overall, the ministry expects Vietnam to post a trade surplus for the fourth year in a row.
Vietnam had a trade surplus of $7.2 billion in 2018, three times higher than that of 2017 and the highest in the past decade.