Laos’ trade deficit exceeds US$54 million in May

Source: Vientiane Times

Laos saw a record US$54 million trade deficit last month, as revealed by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce’s two-way trade figures for May on the Lao Trade Portal website, which is administered by the ministry.

The latest value of imports and exports was recorded at US$904 million, with exports valued at US$425 million and imports at US$479 million. The figures were updated on June 23.

Laos’ main export products are copper ore, bananas, mixed gold (gold bars), cassava, clothes, raw coffee, sugar, rubber, fruit (watermelons, passion fruit and tamarind) and sawn wood.

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The main imported products are vehicles (other than motorcycles and tractors), electrical devices and equipment, diesel, mechanical equipment (other than motor vehicles), steel, steel products, magnetic steel, beverages (water, soda, energy drinks), auto parts (including tyres, glass and chains), plastic products, fertiliser and food factory waste.

The total value of exports in May was recorded at US$425 million.

The figure comprised copper ore valued at US$26 million, US$17 million worth of bananas, US$59 million of mixed gold (gold bars), US$6 million of cassava, US$11 million worth of clothing, US$10 million of raw coffee, US$3 million of sugar, US$10 million of rubber, US$4 million of fruit (watermelons, passion fruit and tamarind) and US$2 million of sawn wood.

The total value of imports was recorded at US$479 million. This included US$45 million worth of vehicles (other than motorcycles and tractors), US$19 million worth of electrical devices and equipment, US$37 million of diesel, US$35 million of mechanical equipment (other than motor vehicles), US$23 million of steel, steel products, magnetic steel, US$21 million worth of beverages (water, soda and energy drinks), US$15 million of auto parts (including tyres, glass and chains), US$14 million of plastic products, US$12 million of fertiliser and US$13 million worth of food factory waste.

Most of Laos’ exports go to China with US$168 million worth of goods sold. Goods sold to Vietnam were valued at US$106 million, goods sold to Thailand were valued at US$60 million, while exports to Switzerland totalled US$17 million and goods sold to Germany totalled US$7 million.

China is the largest market for Lao exports, while Thailand remains one of Laos’ main importing countries with imports reaching a record value of US$227 million in May.

In addition, Laos imported goods from China worth US$117 million, while imports from Vietnam totalled US$39 million, imports from Japan US$16 million and imports from the United States of America totalled US$31 million last month.

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