HANOI (Reuters) – Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of $11.12 billion last year, widening from a surplus of $6.8 billion in 2018, customs data released on Monday showed, with smartphones, garments and electronic home appliances among the largest export earners.
Exports in 2019 rose 8.4% to $264.189 billion, while imports rose 6.8% to $253.071 billion, the Customs Department said in a statement.
Key imports were electronics and machinery, the department said.
Vietnam’s exports of smartphones and spare parts, mostly produced by Samsung Electronics (005930.KS), rose 4.4% last year to $51.38 billion, the data showed.
In December, Vietnam’s exports fell 1.0% from November to $22.56 billion, while imports were up 4.5% at $22.30 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $259 million.
The General Statistics Office late last month forecast the 2019 trade surplus at $9.94 billion, and December’s trade deficit at $1 billion.
Monday’s data also showed Vietnam’s trade surplus with the United States, Vietnam’s largest export market, widened to $46.98 billion last year from $34.87 billion a year earlier.