Laos’ imports and exports totaled over USD 1 billion in June; exports were valued at USD 458 million, while imports were approximately USD 584 million, resulting in a trade deficit of USD 126 million.
Potassium salt was the most exported product with a value of USD 53 million, while diesel was the most imported product with a value of USD 66 million, according to the Lao Trade Portal (LTP).
Mixed gold and bullion, paper and paper products, iron ore, sugar, iron ore, beverages, pulp and scrap paper, clothing, and rubber were other top exported products last month. The most imported products included vehicles, electronic appliances, mechanical equipment, auto parts, steel and steel products, beverages, gasoline, plastic products, and electronic lines and cables.
Thailand remained Laos’ biggest source for imports at USD 297 million, followed by China at USD 171 million, Vietnam at USD 29 million, the US at USD 13 million, and Japan at USD 15 million.
Laos’ top five export partners were China at USD 172 million, followed by Vietnam at USD 106 million, Thailand at USD 48 million, Australia at USD 33 million, and the US at USD 17 million.
Compared to the May trade deficit figures of USD 47 million, the trade deficit in June shot up by USD 79 million and is the highest trade deficit Laos has experienced this year.
The increasing trade deficit is a cause for concern for the Lao government, as it could lead to a decline in the country’s foreign exchange reserves. Hence, the government is promoting exports and reducing imports to improve the trade balance.
The Central Bank of Laos has also suggested the curbing of luxury imports to reduce the trade deficit in the country.