Update: 09:04 | 27/01/2019
South Africa retained its top position among African trade partners of Vietnam in 2018, with bilateral trade topping US$1.1 billion, up 11.7% from 2017 and accounting for 16% of total trade between Vietnam and African countries.
According to statistics of the Vietnamese trade office in South Africa, Vietnam shipped US$724.3 million worth of goods to South Africa, down 3.7% year on year, but its imports from the country surged 59.5% to US$386.4 million.
South Africa retained its top position among African trade partners of Vietnam in 2018.
The office’s head Dao Manh Duc attributed the drop in Vietnam’s exports to falling shipments and value of mobile phones and parts by foreign-invested enterprises in the country. As the biggest staple in Vietnam’s exports to South Africa, those products brought home only US$227 million in 2018, down 22.2%.
Footwear and computer-electronic goods are two other main items in Vietnam’s export to South Africa, earning US$108.8 million and US$96.2 million, respectively, last year.
It is noteworthy that coffee shipment value saw an impressive increase of 108.4% last year to US$17.3 million. However, pepper suffered a decrease of 37% to US$9.2 million.
The big increase in Vietnam’s imports from South Africa was driven by a 46.9% growth in fruit and vegetables and a 35.5% rise in wood and wood products.
Meanwhile, metal, the main item in Vietnam’s imports from South Africa, saw a drop of 3.3% in value to US$89.7 million.
Vietnam’s purchase of metal, machinery-tools and steel products fell significantly, with decreases of 88.2% and 40%, respectively.
Following South Africa, Egypt is the second largest trade partner of Vietnam in Africa, with bilateral trade going up 36.6% in 2018 to US$439 million.
Vietnam’s trade with 53 out of 55 African countries was estimated at US$6.6 billion in 2018, with an export value approximating US$3 billion, up 10% year on year, according to statistics of the Department of Asian-African Markets under the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade.