Philippines Trade Gap Smallest in 3 Months


The Philippine's trade deficit narrowed to USD 3.75 billion in December of 2018 from USD 3.97 billion in the same month a year earlier. It marked the smallest trade gap since September, as exports dropped 12.3 percent year-on-year to USD 4.72 billion, while imports declined 9.4 percent to USD 8.47 billion.

Year-on-year, exports contracted 12.3 percent to USD 4.72 billion, far faster than a 0.3 percent fall in the previous month and marking the second straight month of fall. Sales of electronic products, the country's top exports, contracted 15.2 percent. Also, exports shrank for: machinery and transport equipment (-53.1 percent), coconut oil (-24.8 percent), and other manufactured goods (-9 percent). In contrast, sales rose for: bananas (296.1 percent); processed food and beverages (61.8 percent); miscellaneous manufactured articles (27.6 percent); ignition wiring set and other wiring set used in vehicles, aircrafts and ship (23.1 percent); metal components (14.5 percent); and chemicals (6.7 percent).

Outbound shipments fell to Japan (-1.2 percent), Hong Kong (-17 percent), China (-11 percent), Singapore (-19 percent), the ASEAN countries (-5 percent), and and the EU countries (-27.1 percent). Conversely, sales grew to the US (9.9 percent).

Imports fell 9.4 percent to USD 8.47 billion in December, swinging from a 6.8 percent rise in a month earlier. It was the first drop in inbound shipments since July 2017 and the steepest in more than six years, dragged down by transport equipment (-33.3 percent); miscellaneous manufactured articles (-18.4 percent); mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (-14.4 percent); telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (-5.5 percent); other food and live animals (-3.5 percent); and electronic products (-1.6 percent). In contrast, imports grew for: cereal and cereal preparations (57.8 percent); iron and steel (15.4 percent); plastics in primary and non-primary form (1.5 percent); and industrial machinery and equipment (0.6 percent).

Purchases shrank from Japan (-3.4 percent); South Korea (-17.7 percent); the US (-36.9 percent); Thailand (-4.6 percent); and the ASEAN countries (-7.9 percent). In contrast, imports from China, the Philippines's biggest supplier of purchases, grew by 8.1 percent. In addition, imports from the EU countries surged 20.1 percent. 

Considering 2018 full year, the trade deficit increased sharply to USD 41.44 billion from USD 27.38 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Philippines Trade Gap Smallest in 3 Months


PSA l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com
2/12/2019 4:50:53 AM