The capital city faced a trade deficit of up to $2.91 million while HCM City gained a trade surplus of $58 million in the first quarter this year, according to statistics office estimates.
The Hanoi Statistics Department said the capital fetched an export turnover of roughly $697 million in March, down 13 percent over the same period last year. It raised the city’s export figure in the first three months to more than $2 billion, down 2.8 percent.
The city, meanwhile, spent roughly $1.82 billion on imports in March, down 14 percent over a year ago. Its import value in the first quarter totalled $4.94 billion, down 15.4 percent.
The department attributed the city’s export decrease to a falling demand from importing countries, especially in the US, China and the EU.
The city’s export of agricultural products in the first quarter decreased sharply by more than 40 percent, with rice exports declining 42.2 percent to just $69.4 million.
HCM City, the country’s largest economic hub, spent roughly $6.2 billion on imports in the first three months, up 7.5 percent. It earned nearly $6.25 billion from exports, up 8.7 percent, thanks to a rising export turnover based on several key staples.
Despite a decrease of 7.8 percent in volume, export value of crude oil in Quarter 1 still surged 9 percent to $1.68 billion thanks to a price hike of 18.2 percent.
HCM City’s garment and textile exports also surged 8.9 percent to $545.8 million. However, the industry’s exports to the EU market was showing signs of decline, said vice Chair of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association Pham Xuan Hong, adding that three-month exports were estimated to have slid 25-30 percent year-on-year.
Export turnover of seafood and footwear also surged 7.5 percent and 8.6 percent to $98.5 million and $142.6 million, respectively.