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Vietnam’s Top 10 Imports

Vietnam imported an estimated US$263.3 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2019, up by 58.8% since 2015 and up by 11.2% from 2018 to 2019.

Based on the average exchange rate for 2019, the Vietnamese dong depreciated by -6.2% against the US dollar since 2015 and slipped by -2% from 2018 to 2019. Vietnam’s weaker local currency makes its imports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively more expensive when converted starting from the Vietnamese dong.

From continental perspective and based on 2018 data, Vietnam bought about 80% of its import purchases from fellow Asian countries. Another 7.3% was purchased from trade partners in Europe with 6.2% coming from North America. Smaller percentages originated from Latin America (2.3%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Oceania (1.8%) led by Australia, and Africa (1.3%).

Given Vietnam’s population of 95.5 million people, its total $263.3 billion in 2019 imports translates to roughly $2,800 in yearly product demand from every person in the East Asian country.


Vietnam’s Top 10 Imports

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Vietnam’s import purchases during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Vietnam.

  1. Electrical machinery, equipment: US$77.8 billion (29.5% of total imports)
  2. Machinery including computers: $26.8 billion (10.2%)
  3. Plastics, plastic articles: $14.6 billion (5.5%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: $11.2 billion (4.2%)
  5. Iron, steel: $10.5 billion (4%)
  6. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $9.3 billion (3.5%)
  7. Vehicles: $6.9 billion (2.6%)
  8. Knit or crochet fabric: $6.5 billion (2.5%)
  9. Cotton: $4.7 billion (1.8%)
  10. Manmade filaments: $3.9 billion (1.5%)

Vietnam’s top 10 imports approach two-thirds (65.4%) of the overall value of the country’s total product purchases from foreign suppliers.

Imported vehicles represent the fastest grower among the top 10 import categories, up by 52.2% from 2018 to 2019. In second place for Vietnam’s expanding import purchases were manmade filaments via a 31.1% increase, trailed by knitted or crocheted fabric (up 30.9%).

Mineral fuels-related products made that category the laggard among the top 10 Vietnamese import category, posting a -25.6% drop. That decline was weighed down by Vietnam’s reduced spending on imported petroleum oils, petroleum gases, electrical energy and petroleum jelly.

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.