Given optimistic domestic and global economic Vietnam's export value is expected to reach US$239 billion in 2018, representing a year-on-year growth of 10-12 per cent.

Given positive export results in the past months, Vietnam may end 2018 with a trade surplus in the whole year and contribute significantly to economic growth. Vietnam's export value is estimated at US$200.27 billion in the past 10 months, up 14.2 per cent over the iven export same period of 2017. 

Particularly, the domestic economic sector earned US$56.82 billion, up 16.8 per cent, and the foreign-led sector bagged US$143.45 billion, including crude oil, up 13.2 per cent and equal to 71.6 per cent of the total exports.

Biggest contributors to the overall export value included telephones and components with US$40.7 billion, up 10.6 per cent; garments and textiles with US$25.2 billion, up 17.1 per cent; electronics, computers and components with US$24.3 billion, up 15.2 per cent; machinery and equipment with US$13.5 billion, up 28.3 per cent; and footwear with US$13 billion, up 9.7 per cent.

In addition to manufactured In products, some agricultural and aquatic products also increased. For example, seafood exports reached US$7.2 billion, up 5.9 per cent; vegetables and fruits brought home US$3.3 billion, up 14.4 per cent; coffee generated US$3 billion, up 1.1 per cent, and rice shipment earned US$2.6 billion, up 16.1 per cent.

Among the largest markets of Vietnam, the United States led with JS$39 billion, 12.8 per cent more than the same period last year, followed by the European Union (EU) with US$34.9 billion, up 9.9 per cent; and China with US$32.1 billion, up 21.3 per cent.

Export shipments continued to scale up. By the end of September 2018, 26 commodities earned more than US$1 billion each, including 19 manufactured industrials, with five key items fetching over US$10 billion each: Telephone and components (US$36.1 billion, up 14.6 per cent); textiles and garments (US$22.6 billion, up 17.1 per cent); electronics, computers and components (US$21.58 billion);  machinery, equipment and tools; footwear; wood products; and vehicles. 

Chemical, a new billion-dollar export, impressively jumped 40.5 per cent. Electric cable shipments also surged 35.4 per cent.

Remarkably, material plastics soared 86 per cent, carrying hopes to join the billion-dollar club in the near future.

 Among billion-dollar exports, six were agriculture, forestry and fishery products, with fruits and vegetables amounting to over US$3 billion. This achievement from the came consensus and joint effort of farmers, authorities, scientists and enterprises from cultivation and trading to export.

Fruit and vegetable exports to key markets increased quite well, led by China, followed by the United States and partners with which Vietnam has committed to FTAS. Spurred by an average monthly export turnover of US$340 million, this commodity is expected to reach US$4 billion in 2018 if the market is not too volatile.

In previous years, the export growth of foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises always outpaced the domestic sector but the reversed recently. 

In the first nine months of 2018, the domestic sector earned US$51 .08 billion, 17.5 per cent higher than a year-ago period and higher than the overall growth rate. This sector experienced a 2.6 per cent decline in exports in 2015 before rising to 5.5 per cent in 2016 and 17.7 per cent in 2017.

Domestic trend have enterprises advantages in agricultural products. Rice export was estimated to reach 4.93 million tonnes valued at US$2.48 billion and vegetable shipments were worth US$3.02 billion, 15.2 per cent higher than a year ago. In addition, seafood showed positive growth, expected to rise 6.9 per cent to US$6.38 billion.

Export shipments of the FDI sector climbed 15.5 per cent year on year to US$133.93 billion in the year to October 15, 2018, an increase of US$17.94 billion. This sector made up for 70.6 per cent of the total export value of Vietnam.

Vietnamese goods continued to make inroads into traditional markets and approach new markets. In 2017, than 200 more countries and territories had trade relations with Vietnam and 28 markets spent over US$1 commodities, with five markets spending over US$5 billion and four expending over US$10 billion (the United States, China, Japan, South billion Vietnamese on Korea).

Except for Chile, shipments to markets that have FTA relations with Vietnam climbed substantially in the first nine months of 2018. Exports to ASEAN were estimated to rise by 16 per cent to Us$18.72 billion; China by 26.6 per cent to US$28.15 billion: Japan by 12.2 per cent to US$13,82 billion; South Korea by 26.5 per cent to US$13.5 billion; and Australia by 25.5 per cent to US$3 billion.

The utilisation of preferential tariffs from markets that signed FTAS with Vietnam reached about 40 per cent, up from 35 per cent a year earlier. This result contributed significantly to communications on integration and methods of taking advantage of integration commitments, administrative procedure reforms and modernisation of the issuance of certificates of traceability of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The balance of trade rana surplus since 2016, with US$1.78 billion in 2016 and US$2.11 billion in 2017. The value was estimated at US$6.4 billion in the first 10 months of 2018, the all- time high.

Effectively balance helped controlling trade forex increase reserves reduce exchange rate stabilise the foreign pressures exchange market and improve the balance of international payments.

MAJOR EXPORTS

1. Telephones and components

The export value of telephones and components ranked first among key exports of Vietnam, accounting for 20.4 per cent of total exports of the country.

The item brought US$40.7 billion in the first 10 months of 2018, rising 10.6 per cent year on year. In particular, Samsung Electronics Vietnam was the biggest contributor.

The European Union (EU) was the biggest importer of Vietnamese telephones and components, topping US$10 billion and accounting for 27.3 per cent in the first nine months of 2018, up 10.97 per cent year on year. Shipments to China rose 2.4 times from a year earlier to US$5.8 billion, while exports to the US soared 43.58 per cent to US$4.1 billion.

In addition, the export value to India also jumped 57.76 per cent to US$660.7 million in the reviewed period.

2. Electronics, computers and components
 
The export value of computers, electronic products and components reached US$21.58 billion in the first nine months, representing a year on year growth of 16.3 per cent. Shipments to China took the lead in the nine-month period with US$6 billion, which was 28.8 per cent higher than a year earlier, followed by the EU (28 countries) with US$4.05 billion, up 21.1 per cent; the US with US$2.07 billion, down 14.1 per cent; and South Korea with US$1.94 billion, up 48.5 per cent.
 
3. Agricultural products (fruits and vegetables, cashew nuts, pepper, tea, coffee, rice, cassava and rubber)
 
Agricultural exports brought  home US$15.2 billion from January to September, 4.4 per cent higher than in the same period of last year. 
 
Rice
Vietnam shipped nearly 5 million tonnes worth US$2.5 billion in the first nine months of 2018, up 8.5 per cent in volume and 23.2 per cent in value year-on-year. More premium rice and less inferior rice were exported. Low-quality white rice only accounted for 2.01 per cent of total rice shipments in the first eight months. Meanwhile, high-quality and medium white rice made up for 42.46 per cent and aromatic rice accounted for 33.24 per cent.
 
Vietnam is among the three largest rice exporters in the world with an average annual shipment of 5-6 million tonnes. The country's rice export market is about 43 - 44 million tonnes, of which the Mekong River Delta supplies more than a half.
 
The country's rice production and export improved in quality and added value, thus boosting safe production, high-tech application and organic agricultural development. High and medium-quality white rice, aromatic rice and glutinous rice now account for the highest share of rice production. The rice quality meets all quality requirements of the world's highest-demanding markets. 
 
China was still the biggest importer of Vietnamese rice in the first eight months of 2018, accounting for 23.2 per cent. Best-performing importers included Indonesia (up 67 times), Iraq (3 times), Hong Kong (70.6 per cent), the Philippines (67.4 per cent) and Malaysia (26.9).
 
Cassava 
Cassava export in September 2018 was estimated at 166,000 tonnes worth US$70 million, totalling 1.86 million tonnes valued at US$708 million in the first nine months of 2018, down 35 per cent in volume and 1.6 per cent in value from the corresponding period in 2017. China of was the biggest importer Vietnamese cassava, holding 86.3 per ied cent of the market share.
 
Fruits and vegetables
Earning US$3.02 billion from exports in the first nine months, 15.2 per cent more than a year ago, vegetables and fruits of Vietnam overtook rice among top forex earners.
 
Given a growth of over 15 per cent, the commodity was projected to bring home over US$4 billion from export markets in 2018. If this is achieved, this will be the second year in a row fruits and vegetables surpassed rice to be the biggest agricultural export.
 
China was the biggest importer of Vietnamese fruits and vegetables with nearly US$1.994 billion, a year on year growth of 1 1.6 per cent. The neighbouring market accounted for 74.1 per cent of Vietnam's total fruit and vegetable exports. The runner-up was the US with US$87 million, followed by Thailand and Australia.
 
The top item in this category was litchi, exported 86,200 tonnes for US$170.5 million to China in the first eight months. In addition, Austra lia was a big importer of Vietnamese processed fruits and vegetables.
 
Coffee
Coffee exports were estimated at 1.46 million tonnes worth US$2.77 billion in the first nine months of 2018, up 20.1 per cent in volume and 0.4 per cent in value year on year. Germany and the US continued to be the two largest consumers of Vietnamese coffee, holding 12.6 per cent and 9.8 per cent of the market, respectively. Fast-growing coffee importers included Indonesia (8 times), Russia (66.6 per cent) and the Philippines (46.6 per cent).
 
Pepper
Pepper export was estimated at 195,000 tonnes valued at US$641 million in the first nine months of 2018, which rose 8 per cent in volume but declined 33.6 per cent in value from a year earlier. Biggest importers of Vietnamese pepper consisted of the US, India, Pakistan and Germany which together held 36.1 per cent of the market.
 
Cashew nuts
The nine-month cashew nut export was estimated at 275,000 tonnes worth US$2.56 billion, which increased 6.8 per cent in volume and 0.2 per cent in value over the same period of 2017. The United States, the Netherlands and China remained the three largest cashew importers of Vietnam, accounting for 38.7 per cent, 12.2 per cent and 10.6 per cent, respectively. Fastest-growing importers included Italy (45.1 per cent) and Israel (22.5 per cent).
 
Tea
Vietnam exported 91,549 tonnes of tea worth US$ 151 .42 million in the first nine months of 2018, down 10.9 per cent in volume and 7.7 per cent in value year on year.
 
Four key importers of Vietnamese tea (over US$ 10 million each) included Pakistan, Taiwan, Russia and China. Particularly, Pakistan took the lead with 23,921 tonnes and US$52.74 million, or 26.1 per cent of the market by volume and 34.8 per cent by value. The values rose 10.5 per cent in volume and 14.2 per cent in value year on year. The export price slightly went up 3.4 per cent from a year earlier to US$2,204.7 per tonne.
 
Shipments to Taiwan (China) accounted for roughly 15 per cent, followed by Russia with 12 per cent, or 11,242 tonnes and US$17.01 million, down 14.1 per cent in volume but 7.7 per cent in value as prices rose to US$1,513.3 per tonne. Tea exports to the Chinese market decreased 7 per cent in volume but prices and turnover both increased.
 
Rubber
Rubber export was estimated at 1.06 million tonnes valued at US$ 1 .45 billion in the first 9 months of 2018, up 19.9 per cent in volume but down 10 per cent in value year on year. China, India and Malaysia were the three biggest rubber importers of Vietnam. Remarkably, shipments to India continued to grow strongly in both value and volume, as flooding in Kerala severely damaged its natural rubber supply
 
4. Aquatics
Aquatic exports reached US$6.35 billion in the year to September 30, which looked up 5.3 per cent from the same period of last year. In particular, shrimp exports topped US$2.62 billion, followed by pangasius with US$1.59 billion and other fish with US$1.03 billion. Thus, the fisheries sector completed 63.5 per cent of the full-year target of US$10 billion proposed earlier this year.
 
Aquatic exports were foreca st to further rise in 2018. Pangasius records the highest growth in many big markets such as China - Hong Kong, the US, the EU and ASEAN.
 
Shrimp exports topped US$2.62 billion in the period from January to September, down 4.1 per cent year on year and equal to 41.3 per cent of total aquatic exports. In particular, shrimp exports to the US fell by 3.1 per cent, to Japan by 11.7 per cent and to China - Hong Kong by 28.7 per cent. 
 
The value of tuna exports was US$473.9 million, up 10.3 per cent over the same period of 2017. Although shipments to the US decreased, the sector still posted positive growth in some markets like the EU, Israel, ASEAN and Japan.
 
5. Wood products
In the first nine months, timber and woodwork exports were valued US$6.37 billion, up 15 per cent from a earlier. Wood products accounted for 69.8 per cent, or US$4.45 billion, 8 per cent higher than a year ago.
 
Vietnam's timber products have been exported to many markets, led by the US accounting for 42.8 per cent of the market or US$2.73 billion, up 15.8 per cent. Main export markets included Japan, China, South Korea and the EU.
 
Notably, shipments to some markets grew over 100 per cent on- year, including Czech Republic which rose 128.8 per cent to US$1.2 million; Malaysia jumped 109.8 per cent to US$78.95 million; and Switzerland leaped 107.3 per cent to US$1.44 million. In addition, strong growth was also seen in Finland (surging by and wood 73 per cent to US$1.42 million), Mexico (by 70.5 per cent to US$9.59 million), Cambodia (by 66.5 per cent to US$8.92 million) and Thailand (by 52 per cent to US$25.66 million).
 
In contrast, shipments plunged sharply in the following markets: Hong Kong (down 56.9 per cent to US$6.06 million), Kuwait (35.2 per cent to US$4.85 million) and Greece (23.7 per cent to US$2.31 million).
 
6.Minerals and fuels
In the first nine months of 2018 mineral and fuel exports slipped 1.7 per cent mainly due to a sharp drop in crude oil exports, which fell 45.2 per cent in volume and 24.6 per cent in value. Other items saw significant increases, for example coal rising by 20.9 per cent, gasoline by 41 .5 per cent and other ore minerals by 6.6 per cent.
 
Top 10 exports by value
 
7. Garment and textile
Garments and textiles are main exports of Vietnam, accounting for 12.5 per cent of the total exports and rising 16.8 per cent year on year to US$22.45 billion in the first nine months of 2018, just after telephones and components.
 
Textile and 6garment exports amounted to US$10.33 billion from January to September, 11.6 per cent higher than a year ago. Shipments to the EU accounted for 13.7 per cent of the share, reaching US$3.03 billion, 11.2 per cent higher than a year ago. In the EU, most exports were to Germany, Canada, France, the Netherlands and Spain.
 
Other billion-dollar markets for Vietnam consisted of Japan (US$2.8 billion, accounting for 12.5 per cent of the share and rising 24 per cent), shipped (US$2.36 South Korea billion, accounting for 10.5 per cent and rising 23.5 per cent), and China (US$1.08 billion, making up 4.8 per cent and jumping 40.4 per cent).
 
Up to 89 per cent of markets saw year on year growth from January to September and only 11 per cent witnessed a decline. Particularly, shipments to Angola remarka bly soared 152 per cent to US$15.79 million. Exports to Hungary also increased sharply by 100.3 per cent to US$3.04 million. Additionally, exports to Finland, Egypt and Myanmar soared 90.2 per cent, 55.5 per cent and 49.4 per cent to US$12.15 million, US$5.27 million and US$18.36 million, respectively.
 
By contrast, exports to Senegal and Slovakia fell 85 per cent and 45 per cent year-on-year to US$220,000 and US$760,000, respectively.
 
8. Leather and footwear 
 
Vietnam's footwear export reached over US$11.7 billion in the first nine months of 2018, up 10.17 per cent year on year.
 
The US was still the largest importer of Vietnamese footwear worth over US$4.2 billion in nine months, up 13.78 per cent, followed by China with over US$1 billion, up 28.35 per cent.
 
Vietnam's footwear exports to some markets recorded strong growth. Portugal grower, soaring 97.77 per cent to over US$3 million, followed by India, where Vietnamese shipment value jumped 62.49 per cent to US$72 million. Argentina had the third- quickest growth, leaping 35.85 per cent to more than US$74 million, coming after by Hungary advancing 33.51 per cent to US$1.4 million.
 
However, exports to some markets experienced sharp drops, including Denmark with US$24 million, down was the fastest 22.85 per cent, followed by Austria with US$19 million, down 22.66 per cent, and the United Arab Emirates with US$81 million, down 15.27 per cent.
 
The footwear export value grew sharply in some markets, driven by FDI enterprises and domestic offshore outsourcers.
 

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INDOCHINE VINA INTERNATIONAL TRADE PROMOTION Co., Ltd 

Address: Pearl Plaza - 561A Dien Bien Phu Street, Ward 25, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam 

Email: info@indochinevina.com

Hotline: VN speaking +84 28 665 49 208  _ English speaking: +848 22 660 356