Vietnam reported an estimated trade surplus of US$600 million in March, leading to a surplus of US$536 million in the first quarter this year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) has said in a monthly report.
On breaking down, the domestic sector reported a trade deficit of US$7.04 billion in the period, while foreign-invested firms posted a trade balance of US$7.57 billion.
In March, Vietnam exported goods worth US$22.4 billion, up 61.1% month-on-month, while imports reached US$21.80 billion, up 48.6%.
Overall, Vietnam's trade turnover reached US$116.49 billion in the first three months of 2019, of which its export value amounted to US$58.51 billion, up 4.7% year-on-year, and imports totaled US$57.98 billion, up 8.9%.
According to the report, Vietnam's export staples during the January - March period remained garment with US$7.3 billion, up 13.3% year-on-year; electronic products, computers and components with US$6.9 billion, up 9.3%; footwear with US$4 billion, up 15.3%; equipment, parts with US$3.9 billion, up 5.2%; wood and furniture with US$2.3 billion, up 17%; vehicles and parts with US$2.2 billion, up 7.6%; steel with US$1.1 billion, up 3.6%.
Phones and parts recorded the highest export turnover of US$12.1 billion, accounting for 20.6% of total exports but down 4.3% year-on-year.
In the January - March period, the US remained Vietnam's biggest export market, spending US$13 billion on Vietnamese goods, up 26% year-on-year, followed by the European Union with US$10.2 billion, up 2.5%, and China with US$7.6 billion, down 7.4%.
Meanwhile, China remained Vietnam's largest import market during January-March with turnover of US$15 billion, a 9.7% climb year-on-year.
South Korea claimed the second place by exporting US$11.8 billion worth of goods to Vietnam, up 1.1% year-on-year, followed by ASEAN with US$8.2 billion, up 10.1%.