Second quarter trade surplus rings in US$50 million

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Laos enjoyed a trade surplus of US$50 million in the second quarter of this year, up by 14.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

Total trade reached US$5.011 billion, according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Exports clocked up US$2.262 million, up 4.5 percent compared to the same period of last year.

The main export products included electricity, copper and copper mineral, parts of cameras, electrical appliances, clothes, gold mineral, coffee, bananas and plastics. Major markets for exports were Thailand, China, Vietnam, Japan, Germany and India, the Import and Export Department confirmed.

Meanwhile, imports were US$2.212 billion, increasing 24.2 percent compared to the same period of last year.

The main imported products included petroleum (Aviation, Diesel, and Gasoline), electrical appliances, vehicles and parts of vehicles, mechanical equipment, steel and steel equipment.

A majority of imports by value were sourced from neighbouring Thailand, China and Vietnam as well as Japan, Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong.

Last year, Laos attained a trade surplus of US$261 million after exports soared to US$4.803 billion, an increase of 13 percent compared to 2016.

Electricity remains the major export product generating revenue for the nation.

Growth in the electric power generation sector and recent expansion of the manufacturing of electronic parts and components is expected to continue according to the World Bank.

After figures pointed to a fall last year, tourism numbers are gradually recovering as the number of international tourists, particularly those from non-ASEAN countries rose in the first quarter of 2018. 

Mining outputs are expected to remain flat this year, but higher metal prices compared to 2017 are likely to help raise export values.

Laos expects to record another trade surplus this year with the government promoting the production of export goods and services including tourism for international markets according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Total exports will reach US$5.015 billion in 2018 with imports expected to reach US$4.978 billion.

If these targets are achieved, the nation will enjoy a trade surplus of some US$37 million this year.

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