Vietnam‘s export growth moderated from 25.2% in April to 18.0% in May, at year-over-year rates and after three months of acceleration.
Meanwhile, according to World Bank data, import growth remained relatively flat at 14.6% in May, down from 16.5% in April, likewise year-over-year.
The slower export growth was due to the slowdown in telephone exports, which fell from 52.0% in April to 15.2% in May, at year-over-year rates.
In contrast, exports of computers and electronic products strengthened (25.2%) in May, up from 14.7% in April.
Growth in machinery exports also accelerated, from 3.9% in March to 20.6% in April and 41.4% in May, despite the slowdown in machinery production and a decline in imports of machinery used as intermediate inputs for machinery exports.
According to the World Bank, one possible explanation is the lag between production and exports of goods.
Overall, export growth to the United States remained strong at 29.2%, while export growth to China fell sharply from 19.5% in April to 3.6% in May.
This sharp drop was due to a decline in handset exports and a slowdown in computer and electronics exports, most likely due to the impact of the closure of this market.
Although overall import growth stabilized, this masked heterogeneity among products.
Machinery imports, corresponding to 14% of total imports, fell 3.5% in May 2022, for the third consecutive month.
Total handset import growth fell from 37.8% in April to just 3.9% in May, due to a sharp drop in handset imports from China and a significant slowdown in those from Korea.
The increase in fuel imports moderated from 117.9% in April to 61.5%, due to a drop in import volumes and a slowdown in their prices.
On the other hand, imports of fabrics and other inputs for the manufacture of textiles, clothing and footwear, which represented 8.0% of total imports, recovered, growing 7.8% in May, compared to 1.0% in April.
By market, imports from China increased from 11.5% in April to 17.0%.
Meanwhile, growth in imports from Korea moderated from 40.7 to 23.3 percent.