Import turnovers of several luxury commodities that fall under a restriction set by the Ministry of Industry and Trade have experienced a downward trend over the first half of this year, according to the general Department of Statistics.
Complete built unit (CBU) automobiles saw the sharpest fall – 54.7 percent against the same period last year, followed by motorbikes at 44 percent.
The country imported 14,000 CBU automobiles worth $285 million in the first six months of the year, and 2,000 vehicles in June alone.
In the first five months of the year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said, import turnovers of the commodities under supervision, including fruits and vegetables, confectionary, and precious metals dropped by 21.7 percent, while the restricted category, consisting of mobile phones, sedans, motorbikes, and consumer goods, declined by 10 percent year-on-year.
Classified as a luxury commodity, mobile phones saw a steep decline of 49.3 percent in import turnovers.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade last year decided to step up efforts to control the trade deficit by more tightly restricting the import of luxury or unnecessary goods, especially cars, mobile phones, cosmetics and wine.
In a statement released earlier this year, the ministry reiterated that it will further restrict luxury imports in a bid to keep the trade deficit at roughly $13 billion.
The ministry has said it will try to limit luxury goods to 5.4 percent of the country’s total import value, or roughly $6.6 billion.
Meanwhile, businesses in the southern region said that as consumers have been cutting spending, firms have cut import turnovers through their own initiative over the slumping demand.
Shipments of beer and wine have also declined over the last six months, according to the customs agency at HCM City’s Cat Lai Port.
January – June import turnover of wine was worth $691,400, while the figure was as much as $1.35 million in the same period last year.
Similarly, beer import turnovers dropped by 46.8 percent year-on-year to only $221,000 over this year’s first half.