Philippines' March Imports Down; Exports Flat

In March of 2013, total external trade in goods reached $9.251 billion, representing a 4.6 percent decline from $9.694 billion recorded in the same month of 2012. This was due to the 8.4 percent downward trend of total imports, while exports showed a slight 0.1 percent increase over a year earlier. The trade deficit narrowed in March of 2013 to $ -593.1 million, from $ -1048 million a year earlier.
National Statistics Office | Joana Taborda | 5/24/2013 10:34:33 AM
Export earnings in March of 2013 amounted to $4.329 billion, a 0.1 percent increment from $4.322 billion recorded in March of 2012. Similarly, on a monthly basis, it increased by 15.7 percent. The positive increase was supported higher shipments of other mineral products, other manufactures, metal components, woodcrafts and furniture, coconut oil and ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships. 

Electronic Products emerged as the country’s top export with total receipts of $1.757 billion, down by 22.4 percent on a year-on-year basis. However, month-on-month, Electronic Products, was up by 18.4 percent.

Japan, comprising 18.5 percent share to total exports for March of 2013, emerged as the country’s top destination of exports. Revenues were higher by 17.0 percent from a year ago. United States, accounting for 14.4 percent share to total exports followed as the second top market, with exports posting a decrease of 7.0 percent from a year earlier.

Total merchandise imports went down by 8.4 percent year-on-year. However, it increased by 4.6 percent compared to the previous month’s level. The down fall was supported by lower imports of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, organic and inorganic chemicals, plastics in primary and non-primary forms, industrial machinery and equipment, and electronic products. 

Accounting for 25.3 percent of the aggregate import bill, payments for Electronic Products went down by 0.6 percent over last year's figure. On a monthly basis, it fell by 0.1 percent. Among the major groups of electronic products, Components/Devices (Semiconductors), having the biggest share of 19.4 percent, increased by 3.4 percent year-on-year.

People’s Republic of China was the country’s biggest source of imports for March of 2013 with 11.5 percent share of the total import bill, higher by 0.4 percent over the same month in 2012. 

Aggregate merchandise exports for the first three months of 2013 declined by 6.2 percent year-on-year and aggregate imports showed a 7.4 percent decline compared with the same quarter last year.