Vietnam’s total imports and exports in July 2022 were US$60.63 billion, a month-on-month decrease of 6.8% and a year-on-year increase of 6.1%, the General Statistics Office (GSO) reported on Friday.
Exports in July were US$30.32 billion, down 7.7% from the previous month. The US remained the biggest importer of Vietnamese commodities in the last seven months, with an estimated value of $67.1 billion.
Meanwhile, Vietnam imported the most from China with an estimated value of $72.6 billion. Its trade deficit with China rose 21.6% to $42.2 billion.
From January through July, imports and exports totaled US$431.94 billion, an increase of 14.8% year-over-year, data from the bureau showed. Exports climbed by 16.1%, imports by 13.6%, and the trade surplus amounted to US$764 million.
Vietnam's trade with the US has grown significantly since the start of the US-China trade war in 2018. The Southeast Asian nation's trade surplus with the US hit a record $81 billion in 2021 from $63 billion in 2020.
Synchronously, Vietnam's trade deficit with China is also rising, as China remains its go-to supplier for steel, circuit boards, machinery and equipment, and textiles for the apparel and footwear industries.
To avoid tariff hikes caused by the trade war, Chinese goods were diverted to Vietnam, repackaged into Vietnamese products, and shipped to the US. Attracted by lower tariffs, labor cost, and land cost, some Chinese companies have started or expanded manufacturing in Vietnam.
In addition, foreign investors and other foreign-funded enterprises are injecting capital into the Vietnamese market. Recently, real estate tycoon Li Ka-shing has invested billions of dollars in infrastructure in Vietnam after he retreated from the UK.