Philippines Trade Deficit Narrows in January

In January of 2013, the Balance of Trade for the Philippines registered a deficit of $714 million from $1.010 billion deficit in the same period last year. This was due to the 8.0 percent downward trend of total imports from $5.134 billion to $4.725 billion in January 2013. Similarly, exports showed a 2.7 percent decrement from $4.123 billion in January 2012 to $4.011 billion. Total external trade in goods for January 2013 reached $8.735 billion, representing a 5.6 percent decrease from $9.257 billion recorded during the same month in 2012.

The country’s total merchandise imports for January 2013 declined by 8.0 percent compared to same month a year ago from $5.134 billion to $4.725 billion. The negative performance of purchases of products like mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials; organic and inorganic chemicals; electronic products and plastics in primary and non-primary forms contributed to the contraction of imports for January 2013. Furthermore, it decreased by 10.9 percent from $5.300 billion compared to previous month’s level. Accounting for 24.4 percent of the aggregate import bill, payments for Electronic Products in January 2013 amounted to $1.150 billion. It went down by 14.4 percent over last year's figure of $1.344 billion. Imports of Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials in January 2013 ranked second with 19.6 percent share and posted the highest negative annual growth rate of 30.0 percent among the top ten imports for January 2013. 

People’s Republic of China was the country’s biggest source of imports for January 2013 with 13.1 percent share of the total import bill, higher by 15.2 percent to $616.98 million from $535.63 million in January 2012. The increase in the inward purchases from China includes importation of other mineral fuels and lubricants, telecommunication equipment and non-metallic mineral manufacture. Following People’s Republic of China as top source of the country’s imports was the United States of America with 10.8 percent share. 
The Philippine merchandise exports decreased by 2.7 percent from $4.123 billion in January 2012 to $4.011 billion in January 2013. The decrement was supported by the negative growth in articles of apparel and clothing accessories, electronic products, machinery and transport equipment and ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships. However, on a monthly basis, receipts from merchandise exports went up by 1.0 percent from $3.971 billion posted in December 2012. Accounting for 36.6 percent of the total exports revenue in January 2013, Electronic Products emerged as the country’s top export with total receipts of $1.466 billion. It slumped by 31.9 percent from $2.153 billion registered in January 2012. Chemical followed as the second top export earner in January 2013 with total receipts of $467.88 million or a share of 11.7 percent to the total exports revenue. It grew by 333.0 percent from last year’s value of $108.05 million, the highest increase in annual growth from among the top ten exports.
Japan including Okinawa, comprising 19.2 percent share to total exports for January 2013, emerged as the country’s top destination of exports with revenue amounting to $769.03 million. It was higher by 8.8 percent from $706.79 million recorded a year ago. The export items to Japan consist mainly of wood manufactures, chemical products, electronic products and banana (fresh). Republic of Korea, with about 14.1 percent share to total exports, followed as the second top market of the country for January 2013 with export earnings worth $564.72 million. This represents an increase of 229.3 percent from $171.51 million reported a year earlier. Chemical products, other manufactures, components/ devises (semiconductors) and sugar are the goods mostly exported to Korea.

National Statistics Office | Joana Taborda |
3/26/2013 9:57:10 AM