February’s import spending was put at US$9 billion, also rising by 30% month-on-month.
Import expenditure on electronic and computing devices reached US$1.7 billion in the year to date, soaring by 101.1%, followed by steel products with US$960 million, up 16.6%. Imports of chemicals in the first two months rose22%toUS$417 million, while timber imports surged 64.7% year-on-year to US$216 million.
Import materials that grew by a single digit rate in January-February include machines, equipment and spare parts at US$2.3 billion, up 4.2%, fabric at US$882 million, up 4.5%, plastics at US$707 million, up 9.2%, and textile and footwear materials at US$387 million, up 9.8%.
Higher import expenditures in the Jan-Feb period is attributed to a rise in import volume as well as a price hike of some import items. For instance, steel and iron price went up by 1.5%, fertilizer up 15.4% and gasoline up 18.5%.
The trade deficit swelled to US$628 million in the two-month period after a surplus in January.
Locally-owned businesses spent US$7.7 billion on imports in the two months, down 6.4% while foreign-invested enterprises made up US$8.2 billion, up 36.8%.
Source: The Saigon Times Daily