Vietnamese exports of goods amounted to only US$19 billion in January, a year-on-year fall of 14.3%, according to the latest data from the General Statistics Office of Vietnam.
The strongest decline was seen in the shipments of garment and textiles (down 21% to $2.6 billion), and telephone and components (down 22.4%to $2.6 billion), reported VNA News.
Notably, several agricultural products such as seafood, coffee, cashew, rubber, rice and pepper, among others, also experienced a plunge in their revenue in the first month of the year.
Fruit exporters said that formidable challenges are ahead as China, a key importer of Vietnamese fruits, has tightened quality norms and demanded origin traceability, making it difficult for Vietnamese exporters to access the market.
Furthermore, China officially recommended halting trade exchange between its Guangxi and Yunnan provinces and border localities of Vietnam until February 10 as the coronavirus continues to spread.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Foreign Trade Agency, observing that trade flow through Vietnam-China border gates will be critically affected by the coronavirus outbreak, is urging local businesses to outline measures to ensure suitable goods delivery modes, seek new markets, or promote consumption domestically.
Export revenues from garments and textiles, footwear, and electronic products dropped in the month due to the week-long Tet holiday, reports said.
Overall imports for the month were also down, sliding 11.3% year-over-year, according to the statistics office.