Vietnam’s Top 10 Imports

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Vietnam imported US$233.3 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2017, up by 76.7% since 2013 and up by a third (33.3%) from 2016 to 2017.

Vietnamese imports represent 1.5% of overall global imports which totaled an estimated $16.054 trillion for 2017.

Given Vietnam’s population of 96.2 million people, its total $233.3 billion in 2017 imports translates to roughly $2,400 in yearly product demand from every person in the country.

Vietnam’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Vietnam’s import purchases during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Vietnam.

From the more detailed four-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level, Vietnam spends the most money on electronic circuits and microassemblies followed by phone system devices including smartphones, refined petroleum oils, electrical parts for miscellaneous machines, then lobsters or other crustaceans.

  1. Electrical machinery, equipment: US$60.7 billion (26% of total imports)
  2. Machinery including computers: $25.4 billion (10.9%)
  3. Plastics, plastic articles: $11.8 billion (5%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: $10.5 billion (4.5%)
  5. Iron, steel: $10.1 billion (4.3%)
  6. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $9.2 billion (3.9%)
  7. Fish: $6.2 billion (2.6%)
  8. Knit or crochet fabric: $6 billion (2.6%)
  9. Vehicles: $5.7 billion (2.4%)
  10. Cotton: $4.2 billion (1.8%)

Vietnam’s top 10 imports accounted for almost two-thirds (64.2%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Imported fish had the fastest-growing increase in value among the top 10 import categories, up by 465.3% from 2016 to 2017.

In second place for improving sales was imported optical, technical and medical apparatus via a 98.4% increase. Trailing that were Vietnamese imports of knitted or crocheted fabric, up by 54.4% year over year.

Plastics and plastic articles was the laggard category for the top 10 Vietnamese imports, posting a 7.6% 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 2017, Vietnamese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electrical machinery and equipment:

  1. Phone system devices including smartphones: $13.5 billion (up 12.8%)
  2. Miscellaneous machine electrical parts: $4.7 billion (up 551.7%)
  3. Printed circuits: $2.9 billion (up 27%)
  4. TV/radio/radar device parts: $2.6 billion (up 14.7%)
  5. Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $2.3 billion (up 34.1%)
  6. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $2.2 billion (up 10.5%)
  7. Electrical converters/power units: $1.4 billion (up 23.5%)
  8. Electric storage batteries: $1.4 billion (up 37%)
  9. Insulated wire/cable: $1.4 billion (up 21.5%)

Among these import subcategories, Vietnam’s purchases of miscellaneous machine electrical parts (up 551.7%), electric storage batteries (up 37%) and solar power diodes or semi-conductors (up 34.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

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 2017, Vietnamese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers:

  1. Miscellaneous machinery: US$2.6 billion (up 87.5% from 2016)
  2. Printing machinery: $1.7 billion (up 98.4%)
  3. Machinery for making semi-conductors: $1.6 billion (up 620.7%)
  4. Computer parts, accessories: $1.4 billion (up 32.3%)
  5. Computers, optical readers: $1.4 billion (up 7.9%)
  6. Air conditioners: $941.7 million (down -5.7%)
  7. Rubber/plastic article making machines: $854.5 million (up 13%)
  8. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $779.4 million (up 44.3%)
  9. Lifting/loading machinery: $760.7 million (up 75.6%)
  10. Air or vacuum pumps: $583.3 million (up 12.9%)

Among these import subcategories, Vietnam’s purchases of machinery for making semi-conductors (up 620.7%), printing machinery (up 98.4%) and miscellaneous machinery (up 87.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

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 2017, Vietnamese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of plastics and plastic articles:

  1. Ethylene polymers: US$2 billion (up 3.1% from 2016)
  2. Polyacetal/ether/carbonates: $1.4 billion (up 15.3%)
  3. Propylene/olefin polymers: $1.4 billion (up 7.9%)
  4. Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips: $1.1 billion (up 21.5%)
  5. Self-adhesive plastic in rolls: $944.7 million (up 21.4%)
  6. Miscellaneous plastic items: $937.4 million (down -42.9%)
  7. Styrene polymers: $651.1 million (up 45%)
  8. Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips: $531.6 million (up 19.6%)
  9. Amino-resins: $472.6 million (up 22.2%)
  10. Plastic packing goods, lids, caps: $439.8 million (down -4.7%)

Among these import subcategories, Vietnam’s purchases of styrene polymers (up 45%), amino-resins (up 22.2%) and plastic plates, sheets, film, tape or strips (up 21.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

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 2017, Vietnamese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuel-related products:

  1. Processed petroleum oils: US$8.3 billion (up 47.5% from 2016)
  2. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $1 billion (up 17.1%)
  3. Petroleum gases: $360.2 million (down -27.2%)
  4. Petroleum oil residues: $246.9 million (up 74.8%)
  5. Coke, semi-coke: $200.2 million (up 133.6%)
  6. Crude oil: $93.2 million (down -54%)
  7. Electrical energy: $74.6 million (down -44.9%)
  8. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $71.1 million (up 15.5%)
  9. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $56.8 million (down -7.5%)
  10. Natural bitumen, asphalt, shale: $26.4 million (down -21.8%)

Among these import subcategories, Vietnam’s purchases of coke or semi-coke (up 133.6%), petroleum oil residues (up 74.8%) and processed petroleum oils (up 47.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

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 Highest Value Vietnamese Export Products, Vietnam’s Top 10 Exports and Highest Value Vietnamese Import Products

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on May 14, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 14, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on May 14, 2018