Vietnam registered a trade surplus of $6.85 billion in the first nine months of this year, government customs data released on Friday showed.

Exports in the January-September period rose 17.2% from a year earlier to $282.3 billion, while imports were up 12.8% at $275.6 billion, the Customs Department said in a report.

In September, Vietnam's exports fell 14.6% from August to $29.8 billion, while imports were down 8.6% to $28.4 billion, the department said. (Reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Editing by Martin Petty)