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Laos Records Highest Trade Deficit Of US$99 Million In July

Source: Vientiane Times

Laos registered a record trade deficit of US$99 million in July, with exports valued at US$374 million and imports at a US$473 million, comprising a total two-way trade value of US$847 million.

According to the latest update published on August 18 by the Lao Trade Portal’s website administered by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the trade deficit for July far exceeded the figure of US$62 million recorded in June.

In June the value of imports was recorded at US$497 million and the value of exports totalled US$435 million.

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The main products exported in July were copper ore, bananas, mixed gold (gold bars), cassava, clothes, camera parts, coffee, sugar, rubber, fruit (watermelons, passion fruit and tamarind) and tobacco.The main imported products were vehicles (other than motorcycles and tractors), electrical devices and equipment, diesel, mechanical equipment (other than motor vehicles), steel, steel products, fuel, auto parts (including tyres, glass and chains), plastic products, fertiliser and food factory waste.

Laos mainly exports goods to China, Vietnam, Thailand, Germany and the United States of America.The value of exports to China last month was recorded at US$149 million, Vietnam US$71 million, Thailand US$54 million, and Germany US$8 million, while exports to America were valued at US$8 million.

With regard to imports, Laos imported goods from China valued at US$113 million, while goods worth US$59 million were imported from Vietnam, fromThailand US$253 million, and from Japan US$6 million, while the value of goods purchased from the United States of America stood at US$16 million.

China remains the largest market for Lao exports, while most imported goods come from Thailand. The value of goods imported from Thailand in July stood at US$253 million, up from US$225 million in June and US$227 million in May.

In July, Laos earned US$374 million from exports, with the sale of gold fetching US$22 million, bananas fetching US$16 million, camera bodies and parts selling for US$11 million, and the sale of mixed gold products earning US$56 million.

In addition, exports of clothing earned US$22 million, raw coffee US$6 million, sugar US$4 million, rubber US$16 million, fruit (watermelon, passion fruit and tamarind) sold for US$4 million, and the export value of tobacco was US$4 million.

The government is working with the private sector to increase domestic production in order to reduce the trade deficit as part of the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan 2021-2025.