Oil & gas loses the ‘throne’ as the biggest export item
VietNamNet Bridge - The oil & gas sector once had the highest export turnover of any industry, but that ended in 2009.


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The crude oil export turnover in 2007-2017




In 2007, crude oil exports brought $8.5 billion in turnover, while the figure soared to $10.5 billion in 2008. Reports showed that crude oil made up 15 percent of the country’s total export turnover.

However, the figure has fallen to 7.5 percent.

According to Virac, a consultancy firm, since 2009, or two years after Vietnam joined WTO (World Trade Organization), crude oil conceded the No 1 position to textiles & garments.  

In the same year, Vietnam exported $6.2 billion worth of crude oil, while textile & garment exports brought $9 billion.

The peak exploitation period at the oil fields of Bach Ho (White Tiger), Su Tu and Lan Tay is over. As for new oil fields, the exploitation is going slowly because of their small scale and lack of capital.

In 2010, crude oil fell from the second to fourth position with export turnover of $4.9 billion, after textiles & garments ($11.2 billion), footwear ($5.1 billion) and seafood ($4.95 billion).

Since 2012, crude oil has been superseded by phone and phone accessories which have seen export turnover soar rapidly. 

The presence of multi-billion dollar factories of Samsung and other big manufacturers has helped push phone and phone accessories to the No 1 position. 

The export turnover of these products soared from $12.6 billion in 2012 to $34.5 billion in 2016 and over $40 billion in 2017.

Meanwhile, crude oil, the ‘one-time king’, has fallen to the 13th position on the list of export items with export turnover of more than $1 billion in 2016. 

Even vegetable & fruit export turnover has outstripped crude oil export turnover.

Analysts commented that the ‘power’ of crude oil has become weaker as a result of the  downward trend in oil prices in the world. 

The crude oil price dropped by half from $100 per barrel to $40-50, affecting Vietnam, Russia and other countries.

The exploitable crude oil reserves are on the decrease. Some oil fields have reached the limit, which has made it difficult to raise export value. 

The peak exploitation period at the oil fields of Bach Ho (White Tiger), Su Tu and Lan Tay is over. As for new oil fields, the exploitation is going slowly because of their small scale and lack of capital.

An expert said Vietnam’s potential cannot be compared with other oil & gas powers. Vietnam’s total reserves are estimated at 750 million tons, while 430 million tons have been exploited.

Vietnam has exported 355 million tons of crude oil worth a total of U$145 billion since 1987, according to the national oil & gas conglomerate PetroVietnam.


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Luong Bang

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