Laos posted a trade deficit of 102 million US dollars in April, the first trade shortfall in 2022 following three months of trade surplus.
According to the most recent data from the Lao Trade Portal website, the overall value of trade in April was 950 million US dollars, with 424 million US dollars in exports and 526 million US dollars in imports.
Xinhua reports that the major exports for April included gold, gold bars, paper and paper products, copper ore, wood pulp, and waste paper, rubber, cassava, iron ore, bananas, clothing, and fertilizer.
Meanwhile, major imports included vehicles (other than motorcycles and tractors), diesel and mechanical equipment (other than motor vehicles), wood pulp and waste paper, auto parts (including windshields and chains), steel and steel products, magnetic steel, plastic products, gasoline, paper and paper products, and wood and wooden utensils.
Laos’ biggest export destination was China, followed by Vietnam and Thailand, while the top source nations for imports were Thailand, China, and Vietnam.
The trade deficit comes at a time when the country desperately requires foreign currency, with a depreciating local currency causing difficulties for commodities importers.