Vietnam’s monthly trade balance has gradually turned to a trade deficit since the beginning of the second quarter. However, the trade deficit decreased gradually in the middle and the end of the third quarter. The export-import turnover of 2021 is expected to be over 600 billion USD.


According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, by mid-October 2021, the country’s import and export turnover of goods has reached more than 510 billion USD. In the first two weeks of October 2021, the total import-export turnover of Vietnam reached more than 26 billion USD. Of which, export reached 13.16 billion USD, imports reached approximately 13 billion USD.

Ministry of Industry and Trade

Agricultural products export witness positive results

According to the Vietnam Timber and Forest Products Association (Viforest), in the first nine months of 2021, although the COVID-19 pandemic caused disruptions to the supply chain of labor and raw materials, the export of wood and wood products reached 11.11 billion USD, achieving a high growth rate with an increase of 30.6%, equivalent to an increase of USD 2.6 billion over the same period last year. Viforest predicts that the export turnover of wood and forest products can reach 14-14.5 billion USD this year.

In the first nine months of 2021, seafood exports have increased by 2.8% year-on-year, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP). Seafood export turnover during these 9 months was estimated at approximately 6.2 billion USD. According to VASEP, this year, seafood export turnover is expected to reach 8.4 billion USD.

As for the rice market, according to the Vietnam Food Association (VFA), in September 2021, the country successfully exported 530,000 tons of rice, worth 261 million USD, significantly up from 430,000 tons and 211 million USD made in August 2021, raising the cumulative rice exports in 9 months of 2021 to 4,516 million tons with a value of 2.389 billion USD.

Vietnam Food Association

Export of cement, clinker set a new record

According to the latest data of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in the first nine months of 2021, the cement industry exported 32,687 million tons of cement and clinker, worth 1.253 billion USD, up 16.3% in volume and 20.9% in value over the same period in 2020. With an export momentum as in the past nine months, it is forecasted that cement and clinker exports this year will exceed the threshold of 40 million tons.

Export of textile and garments, footwear, wooden furniture recover

Three export industries, which were greatly affected by the fourth outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, including textiles and garments, footwear, and wooden furniture, still achieved positive export growth in the first nine months of 2021, with a total export turnover of nearly 55 billion USD.

By the end of the third quarter of 2021, exports of textiles and garments reached 23.41 billion USD, up 5.6%, equivalent to an increase of nearly 1.23 billion USD over the same period in 2020. Exports of the entire leather and footwear industry, including footwear and handbags, also brought in 15.53 billion USD, of which, all kinds of footwear in September reached 678 million USD, down 18.9%, equivalent to 158 million USD, compared to the previous month.

textiles and garments

The wood products industry is still achieving a growth rate of more than 30.6% after nine months, equivalent to an increase of 2.6 billion USD over the same period last year.


Although the current trade balance is still positive, the results of pandemic prevention and control will be the decisive factor in how the trade balance of 2021 will finally turn out. The government issued important decisions to boost the economic growth for the remainder of 2021 and early 2022.

Many experts have predicted a possible balanced trade for Vietnam, or even having a trade surplus in the whole year of 2021, based on the support from the government, the efforts of the business community, and the fact that the trade surplus achieved since September.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade predicts that if there is no major change in the pandemic, the last three months of the year will be the time when businesses in southern region will regain their growth momentum. It is forecasted that with the current import and export growth rate, the whole year’s import and export turnover of Vietnam may exceed 600 billion USD.

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