Vietnam’s Top 10 Imports

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Vietnam imported an estimated US$255.8 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2018, up by 73% since 2014 and up by 21.5% from 2017 to 2018.

Vietnamese imports represent 1.4% of overall global imports which totaled an estimated $17.788 trillion for 2018.

Given Vietnam’s population of 97 million people, its total $255.8 billion in 2018 imports translates to roughly $2,600 in yearly product demand from every person in the East Asian country.

Vietnam’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Vietnam’s import purchases during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Vietnam.

  1. Electrical machinery, equipment: US$68 billion (26.6% of total imports)
  2. Machinery including computers: $24.5 billion (9.6%)
  3. Plastics, plastic articles: $13.2 billion (5.2%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: $11.9 billion (4.6%)
  5. Iron, steel: $11.4 billion (4.5%)
  6. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $9.5 billion (3.7%)
  7. Knit or crochet fabric: $6.5 billion (2.6%)
  8. Vehicles: $6.4 billion (2.5%)
  9. Cotton: $5.1 billion (2%)
  10. Fish: $4.3 billion (1.7%)

Vietnam’s top 10 imports approach two-thirds (62.9%) of the overall value of the country’s total product purchases from foreign suppliers.

Imported fish had the fastest-growing increase in value among the top 10 import categories, up by 245.2% from 2017 to 2018.

In second place for improving sales was imported knit or crochet fabric via a 47.4% increase. Trailing that were Vietnamese imports of vehicles, up by 41.8% year over year, ahead of imported cotton’s 30.4% gain.

Plastics and plastic articles was the laggard among the top 10 Vietnamese import category, posting a 1.8% improvement.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.

Electronics

In 2018, Vietnamese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electrical machinery and equipment.

  1. Integrated circuits/microassemblies: US$22.9 billion (up 9.3% from 2017)
  2. Phone system devices including smartphones: $14.4 billion (down -18%)
  3. Miscellaneous machine electrical parts: $4.3 billion (up 379.6%)
  4. TV/radio/radar device parts: $3.3 billion (up 3.9%)
  5. Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $2.9 billion (up 44.2%)
  6. Printed circuits: $2.9 billion (down -14.4%)
  7. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $2.4 billion (down -4.6%)
  8. Electric storage batteries: $1.6 billion (up 26.7%)
  9. Insulated wire/cable: $1.5 billion (up 23.3%)
  10. Electrical converters/power units: $1.5 billion (up 33.9%)

Among these import subcategories, Vietnamese purchases of miscellaneous machine electrical parts (up 379.6%), solar power diodes or semi-conductors (up 44.2%) then electrical converters and power units (up 33.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported electric machinery and products among Vietnamese businesses and consumers.

Machinery

In 2018, Vietnamese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers.

  1. Miscellaneous machinery: US$2.1 billion (down -36.4% from 2017)
  2. Printing machinery: $1.7 billion (up 93.7%)
  3. Computers, optical readers: $1.3 billion (down -3.7%)
  4. Computer parts, accessories: $1.2 billion (up 14.2%)
  5. Air conditioners: $991.3 million (up 12.3%)
  6. Rubber/plastic article making machines: $843 million (up 0.1%)
  7. Lifting/loading machinery: $735.7 million (up 24.5%)
  8. Machinery for making semi-conductors: $699.7 million (up 101.3%)
  9. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $678.5 million (up 33%)
  10. Air or vacuum pumps: $633.4 million (up 29.3%)

Among these import subcategories, Vietnamese purchases of machinery for making semi-conductors (up 101.3%), printing machinery (up 93.7%) then taps, valves and similar appliances (up 33%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery including computers among Vietnamese businesses and consumers.

Plastics

In 2018, Vietnamese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of plastics and plastic articles.

  1. Ethylene polymers: US$2 billion (down -7.1% from 2017)
  2. Polyacetal/ether/carbonates: $1.8 billion (up 35.6%)
  3. Propylene/olefin polymers: $1.3 billion (down -7%)
  4. Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips: $1.3 billion (up 0.2%)
  5. Miscellaneous plastic items: $1.1 billion (down -38%)
  6. Self-adhesive plastic in rolls: $1 billion (down -6.4%)
  7. Styrene polymers: $744.7 million (up 24.8%)
  8. Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips: $596 million (up 0.7%)
  9. Amino-resins: $574.4 million (up 11.1%)
  10. Plastic packing goods, lids, caps: $507.4 million (up 1.5%)

Among these import subcategories, Vietnamese purchases of polyacetal or ether carbonates (up 35.6%), styrene polymers (up 24.8%) then amino-resins (up 11.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported plastics and plastic articles among Vietnamese businesses and consumers.

Fuel

In 2018, Vietnamese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuel-related products.

  1. Processed petroleum oils: US$8.6 billion (up 17.1% from 2017)
  2. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $1.9 billion (up 45%)
  3. Petroleum gases: $478.4 million (down -30.5%)
  4. Coke, semi-coke: $292.5 million (up 36.8%)
  5. Petroleum oil residues: $275.2 million (up 27.1%)
  6. Crude oil: $133 million (down -79.1%)
  7. Electrical energy: $93.6 million (down -14.2%)
  8. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $63.4 million (down -14.9%)
  9. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $59.9 million (down -10.5%)
  10. Lignite: $12.3 million (up 1162.2%)

Among these import subcategories, Vietnamese purchases of lignite (up 1,162%), coal including solid fuels made from coal (up 45%) then coke or semi-coke (up 36.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported mineral fuels-related products among Vietnamese businesses and consumers.



 

See also Vietnam’s Top 10 Exports and Top Asian Export Countries

Research Sources:
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook report on East Asia/Southeast Asia: Vietnam. Accessed on April 13, 2019

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on April 13, 2019

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 13, 2019