VIENTIANE, May 19 (Xinhua) -- Laos recorded a trade deficit of 102 million U.S. dollars in April, the first trade deficit to be recorded in 2022 after three successive months of a trade surplus.
The total value of trade in April amounted to 950 million U.S. dollars, of which 424 million U.S. dollars was exports and 526 million U.S. dollars was imports, according to the latest information from the Lao Trade Portal website.
Laos' main export products are gold, gold bars, paper and paper products, copper ore, wood pulp and waste paper, rubber, cassava, iron ore, bananas, clothing, and fertilizer.
The country's main imports are 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.
China remained the top export destination for Laos, followed by Vietnam and Thailand, while the major source countries for Laos' imports were Thailand, China and Vietnam.
China has become a key export market for Lao goods, especially agricultural produce, following the opening of the China-Laos Railway at the end of 2021.
The railway has yielded fruitful outcomes in passenger and cargo transportation, marking a major step forward in progress towards strengthened regional connectivity and economic cooperation between Laos and China and across Southeast Asia, according to the report.