The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is Asia’s eighth-richest country behind leading juggernauts China, India and Japan in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Vietnam was also the world’s fifth-fastest growing economy from 2019 to 2020. These financial accomplishments showcase Vietnam as a promising consumer market for international sellers of imported goods.
The 100 most valuable consumer products imported into Vietnam accumulated a subtotal US$101.1 billion worth of spending on international goods in 2020. That consumer-specific dollar amount represents 36.1% of the overall value of all goods imported into Vietnam. The Southeast Asian nation’s overall amount for imported products totaled an estimated $280.3 billion worth of spending.
Among the most valuable consumer products imported into Vietnam during 2020 were: phones including smartphones; processed petroleum oils; coal including solid fuels made from coal; computer parts or accessories; and corn.
The total dollar amount for the top 100 imported consumer products increased by 18.9% from 2019 to 2020 for the nation nicknamed Nam (means “south” in Chinese). Vietnam’s top 100 consumer metric outpaced the 10.6% gain for all of Vietnam’s imported goods for the year.
Vietnam’s demand for imported consumer products also far exceeded than the global average, which was a decline of -8.2% from 2019 to 2020 for all importing countries.
Among the top 100 consumer products imported by Vietnam, 74 increased in total value from 2019 to 2020 whereas 26 declined.
Changes in Vietnamese consumer demand for essential imports offer future opportunities for international suppliers who correctly anticipate which upward or downward trends will continue.
Consumer Products Defined
Economics educator BoyceWire defines a consumer product as a final good or end product that a business creates for consumers to buy. For example, consumers often purchase refined petroleum oil at the gas station while imported crude oil is an intermediate good subject to further processing before being sold to end users.
Although there may be a few wealthy individual buyers, products like turbojets are excluded from the consumer products targeted by this study. That is because turbojets are usually purchased by corporations. In contrast, it is common for a consumer to buy a motorcycle.
Types of Consumer Products
This article focuses on 3 distinct consumer product types.
Convenience Products are easy to access, non-durable, have relatively lower prices and therefore consumers frequently purchase them. Examples of convenience products are food, alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, and soap.
Shopping Products are not as easily available, involve more time to make a buying decision, are durable and are not bought as often as most convenience products. A great example of a shopping product is a mobile phone where buying the wrong model is a much more expensive mistake than buying a disappointing loaf of bread.
Specialty Products describe another consumer product type. This grey area includes infrequently purchased, expensive, durable and sometimes rare items. Consumers may consider the product’s brand image when making their purchase decisions. Some examples of speciality products are gold, silver, diamonds, jewelry, and branded refrigerators and dishwashers.
Vietnam’s Consumer Imports Smart List
The searchable marketing intelligence table below showcases Vietnam’s 100 highest-value imported consumer products in descending order. Items were selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level.
The table’s fourth column is labeled YOY for year over year. The fifth column identifies each entry’s consumer product type.
|2||Processed petroleum oils||$4,003,867,000||-36.9%||CP|
|3||Lower-voltage switches, fuses||$3,313,960,000||+14.3%||SP|
|4||Hot-roll iron/non-alloy steel items||$3,175,190,000||-11%||SP|
|5||Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools||$2,996,356,000||+86.7%||SY|
|6||Coal, solid fuels made from coal||$2,991,423,000||-14.9%||CP|
|7||Electrical converters/power units||$2,640,018,000||+48.1%||SP|
|8||Electric storage batteries||$2,634,457,000||+44.3%||SY|
|9||Computer parts, accessories||$2,387,928,000||+69.8%||SP|
|17||Miscellaneous plastic items||$1,472,093,000||-33.9%||CP|
|18||Wide knit or crochet fabrics||$1,423,839,000||+24.9%||SP|
|19||Computers, optical readers||$1,396,730,000||-31.4%||SP|
|20||Insoles, heel cushions||$1,226,653,000||+28.7%||SP|
|22||Women's clothes (unknit)||$1,114,069,000||+3,040%||SP|
|23||Household base metal mountings||$898,200,000||+150.7%||SY|
|25||Other food preparations||$819,404,000||-2%||CP|
|26||Puzzles, miscellaneous toys||$809,657,000||+803.7%||SP|
|27||Electric water heaters, hair dryers||$795,665,000||+78.4%||SY|
|28||Plastic packing goods, lids, caps||$784,928,000||+37.8%||CP|
|29||Miscellaneous iron or steel items||$766,204,000||-46.8%||SP|
|30||Whole fish (frozen)||$721,832,000||-10.3%||CP|
|33||Prepared glues, adhesives||$705,451,000||+12%||SP|
|34||Seats (not barber/dentist chairs)||$702,827,000||+103.1%||SP|
|35||Screws, bolts, washers, hooks, pins||$674,543,000||+17.2%||SP|
|36||Apples, pears (fresh)||$668,559,000||+329.1%||CP|
|39||Miscellaneous fruits (fresh)||$607,742,000||+98.4%||CP|
|40||Fresh or dried citrus fruit||$573,502,000||+2,151%||CP|
|42||Onions, garlic, leeks||$569,367,000||+686.8%||CP|
|44||Packaged insecticides, herbicides||$554,726,000||-36%||SP|
|45||Sugar (cane or beet)||$553,104,000||+393.8%||CP|
|46||Waters with added sugar||$539,224,000||+189.6%||CP|
|47||Footwear (rubber or plastic)||$533,129,000||+2,151%||SP|
|51||Meat/fish/crustacean flour, pellets||$481,144,000||-11.4%||SP|
|54||Other organic cleaning preps||$454,718,000||+0.1%||CP|
|55||Rubber tires (new)||$451,141,000||+16.3%||SP|
|57||Paper containers, wadding||$439,741,000||+82.3%||SP|
|58||Sweetened milk, cream||$421,286,000||+6.9%||CP|
|59||Cases, handbags, wallets||$420,830,000||+187.5%||SP|
|60||Malt extract, food preparations||$420,259,000||-0.6%||CP|
|61||Grapes (fresh or dried)||$412,152,000||+252.8%||CP|
|62||Interchangeable hand tools||$395,154,000||+43.1%||SY|
|63||Sewing machines, related furniture||$378,226,000||-22.5%||SY|
|65||Crustaceans (including lobsters)||$366,944,000||+8.1%||CP|
|67||Iron/steel tables, household items||$354,223,000||+567.4%||SP|
|68||Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)||$354,009,000||+1,064%||CP|
|71||Household porcelain items||$331,394,000||+2,334%||SP|
|72||Electric generating sets, converters||$325,573,000||-58.6%||SY|
|75||Miscellaneous textile items||$298,601,000||+373.8%||SP|
|77||Women's clothing (knit or crochet)||$295,265,000||+1,880%||SP|
|78||Vulcanized rubber items||$289,348,000||-42.8%||SP|
|79||Bras, corsets (unknit/non-crochet)||$288,631,000||+931.8%||SP|
|80||Unrecorded sound media||$279,402,000||+23%||SP|
|82||Plastic wares (table, kitchen, bath)||$270,510,000||+447.6%||CP|
|83||Partially prepared dried vegetables||$266,229,000||+22.7%||CP|
|84||Coconuts, Brazil nuts, cashews||$262,129,000||-85.4%||CP|
|85||Uncoated paper for writing/print||$258,641,000||+1%||CP|
|87||Glass bottles, other containers||$246,359,000||+233.3%||SP|
|89||Bovine or equine hides, skins||$230,480,000||-40.2%||SP|
|91||Miscellaneous aluminum items||$225,166,000||-75%||SP|
|94||Sanitary towels, baby liners||$222,280,000||+96.4%||SP|
|96||Video console games, table games||$220,143,000||+623%||SP|
|98||Plastic tile or roll coverings||$207,145,000||+265.4%||SP|
|99||Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries||$204,574,000||-2.3%||CP|
|100||Tea (including flavored)||$201,701,000||+552.4%||CP|
Vietnam’s most popular product type is shopping products (SP) led by imported phones including smartphones, lower-voltage switches or fuses, items made from hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel, electrical converters and power units, computer parts or accessories, insulated wire or cable, and automobile parts or accessories. Shopping products represent 48 of Vietnam’s top 100 imported consumer goods.
In second place via 36 items are convenience products (CP). Examples include processed petroleum oils, coal including solid fuels made from coal, corn, medications miscellaneous plastic items.
There were 16 speciality products (SY) ranking among the top 100. Major speciality products imported into Vietnam include electric storage batteries, air conditioners, refrigerators or freezers, fertilizer mixes, and beauty makeup and skincare products.
Durable consumer products are goods like cars, trucks, printing machinery, insulated wire or cable, and furniture that last a relatively long time. Consumers can put durable products to use again and again. By product type, note that both shopping products and speciality products are considered as durable consumer goods.
Non-durable consumer products (ND) are goods that are not re-used once consumed. Coal, medications, sugar and corn are examples of non-durable goods. Convenience products are uniquely non-durable consumer products.
Based on the product types identified in the above table, 64 of Vietnam’s highest-value consumer imported products are durable while 36 are classified as non-durable.
Using the provided table, you can also peruse the greatest increases or decreases in product values from 2019 to 2020. To do so, click on the heading of the fourth column.
You can also peruse the greatest increases or decreases in product values from 2019 to 2020. To do so, click on the heading of the fourth column.
Fastest-Growing Consumer Imports
Listed below are the top 10 consumer products imported into Vietnam that experienced the highest percentage increases in spending from 2019 to 2020.
- Cigars, cigarellos, cigarettes: Up 2,033,485% ($528.7 million)
- Unknitted/non-crocheted women’s clothing: Up 3,040% ($1.1 billion)
- Household porcelain items: Up 2,334% ($331.4 million)
- Rubber or plastic footwear: Up 2,151% ($533.1 million)
- Fresh or dried citrus fruit: Up 2,151% ($573.5 million)
- Unknitted/non-crocheted sportswear: Up 2,055% ($220.6 million)
- Knitted/crocheted women’s clothing: Up 1,880% ($295.3 million)
- Alcoholic beverages including spirits, liqueurs: Up 1,064% ($354 million)
- Unknitted/non-crocheted bras, corsets: Up 931.8% ($288.6 million)
- Models, puzzles, other miscellaneous toys: Up 803.7% ($809.7 million)
Among the above top 10 gainers, 7 qualify as durable goods that consumers can re-use over time. All 7 of those durable items with accelerating sales to importers in Vietnam are shopping products including women’s clothing, household items made from porcelain, and miscellaneous toys.
The fastest-growing convenience products imported into Vietnam are cigars, cigarellos and cigarettes, fresh or dried citrus fruit, and alcoholic drinks including spirits and liqueurs. Consumers consider these items as non-durable products, commonly referred to as disposable goods that normally are used only once.
Worst-Declining Consumer Imports
Spending by buyers in Vietnam on the following 10 items decreased in value at the severest rate from 2019 to 2020.
- Miscellaneous items made from aluminum: Down -75% ($225.2 million)
- Electric generating sets, converters: Down -58.6% ($325.6 million)
- Miscellaneous items made from iron or steel: Down -46.8% ($766.2 million)
- Vulcanized rubber items: Down -42.8% ($289.3 million)
- Bovine or equine hides, skins: Down -40.2% ($230.5 million)
- Processed petroleum oils: Down -36.9% ($4 billion)
- Packaged insecticides, herbicides: Down -36% ($554.7 million)
- Miscellaneous items made from plastic: Down -33.9% ($1.5 billion)
- Medications: Down -33.6% ($1.7 billion)
- Computers including optical readers: Down -31.4% ($1.4 billion)
Three among Vietnam’s top 10 declining imports are non-durable convenience products consumed one time. These are processed petroleum oils, miscellaneous items made from plastic, and medications.
Six among the remaining major import decliners are shopping products that normally require more time for consumers to make buying decisions. Purchases under the shopping products category are more likely to be deferred than convenience products. Examples of these shopping goods range from insecticides to computers.
The one speciality product category among Vietnam’s severest decliners were electric generating sets or converters.
Key Suppliers by Country
This analysis reveals competitive suppliers that target demand for 5 of Vietnam’s top consumer import products.
For Vietnam, the biggest imported consumer product by value is phones including smartphones. The 4 other leading consumer products imported into Vietnam are refined petroleum oils, coal and similar fuels made from coal, computer parts or accessories, and corn.
Below, you will find major supplying countries for Vietnam’s imported:
Phones: China (55.1% of total), South Korea (38.2%), Japan (1.7%), Thailand (1.2%), Hong Kong (1%), Philippines (0.5%), Finland (0.4%), Taiwan (0.3%), United States (0.3%), and Mexico (also 0.3%).
Refined petroleum oils: South Korea (31.3% of total), Malaysia (21.7%), Singapore (20.9%), China (15.7%), Thailand (6.8%), Taiwan (0.8%), Russia (0.7%), Japan (0.6%), United States (0.3%), and Belgium (0.2%).
Coal: Australia (44.6% of total), Indonesia (24.8%), Russia (17.9%), Canada (5.9%), South Africa (4.9%), Mozambique (1.5%) and China (0.4%).
Computer parts or accessories: China (80.1% of total), Taiwan (4.4%), Hong Kong (3.9%), South Korea (3.3%), Philippines (3.2%), Japan (2.1%), Malaysia (1.4%), Thailand (0.6%), United States (0.2%), and Singapore (0.1%).
Corn: Argentina (63.1% of total), Brazil (35.0%), Thailand (0.8%), United States (0.7%), China (0.2%), India (0.1%), Philippines (0.1%), Canada (0.03%), South Africa (0.02%), and Myanmar (0.01%).
More great research: Vietnam’s Main Imports by Top Supplier Countries, China’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, US Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, Cambodia’s Main Imports by Top Supplier Countries
Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational portals.
BoyceWire, Consumer Goods Definition.
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Vietnam Economy.
International Trade Centre, Trade Map.
Richest Country Reports, Top 100 Richest Countries by GDP.
Trading Economics, Vietnam Consumer Spending.
Wikipedia, List of largest consumer markets.
World’s Top Exports, Vietnam’s Top 10 Imports.