Last year, Vietnam’s exports to Australia rose 16.1% to US$3.28 billion (1.5% of the country’s total export value) while imports grew to US$3.17 billion (up 30.5% and 1.5% of the country’s total imports).
Based on the latest statistics provided by Vietnam Customs, strong growth was also seen in bilateral trade climbing to US$595 million in the first month of this year, 58.9% higher than last January with the Southeast Asian nation’s exports to Australia standing at US$305 million (up 42.8%) and imports at US$290 million (up 80.2%).
Australia has been among the top 20 of 200 countries having the highest trade value with Vietnam over recent years. Vietnam has always run a trade surplus with the Oceanic country, however, a downward trend is appearing. The trade surplus dropped from US$1.84 billion in 2014 to US$816 million in 2015, falling to US$403 million in 2016 and further, to just US$116 million in 2017, the lowest level for the past five years.
Vietnam’s major exports to the largest market in Oceania have been primarily electronics and equipment, footwear, garments, and seafood over recent years. Exports of telephones, electronics, and components made up nearly 31% of the country’s total exports to Australia at US$1.02 billion last year. Other major exports to Australia included crude oil (US$262 million), footwear (US$225 million), seafood (US$185 million), machines, equipment and tools (US$175 million), and garments (US$173 million).
In terms of imports, Vietnam mainly bought metals (US$628 million), coal (US$470 million), wheat (US$424 million), and cotton (US$296 million) last year.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australia’s service exports to Vietnam hit AUD1.1167 billion in 2014, with education service exports accounting for 87%. In the opposite direction, Australia imported AUD843 million worth of services from Vietnam with tourism services constituting 68%.