Laos racks up increased trade values for August

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Laos’ total value of trade, including imports and exports, increased in August by US$35 million compared to the figure for July, according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. 

The total value of trade in August was US$900 million while July recorded US$865 million.

 The main exports included copper items and copper ore, bananas, drinking products, gold, coffee, sugar and clothing.

The main imports were petroleum products (aviation fuel, diesel and petrol), electrical appliances, vehicles and spare parts, mechanical equipment, steel and steel equipment.

Major markets for exports were Thailand, China, Vietnam, Japan, Germany and India, while 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.

In the second quarter of this year, total trade reached US$5.011 billion, up by 14.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

Exports clocked up US$2.262 million, up 4.5 percent compared to the same period of 2017.

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

 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 item generating revenue for the country.

Growth in the electric power generation and the 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 output is expected to remain flat this year, but higher metal prices compared to 2017 are likely to help raise the value of exports.

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 are expected to reach US$5.015 billion in 2018, with imports expected to touch US$4.978 billion.

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