The Philippine's trade deficit widened to USD 2.79 billion in February of 2019 from USD 2.54 billion in the same month a year earlier. Exports contracted 0.9 percent from a year earlier to USD 5.18 billion, while imports rose by 2.6 percent to USD 7.97 billion.
Year-on-year exports declined by 0.9 percent to USD 5.18 billion in February 2019, following an upwardly revised 6.7 percent fall in January, reaching the third straight month of drop. Sales decreased the most for metal components (-27.8 percent), followed by gold (-18.4 percent); machinery and transport equipment (-16.7 percent); other manufactured goods (-12.6 percent); and ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ship (-3.6 percent). In contrast, sales of electronic products, the country's top exports grew by 0.8 percent. Also, exports rose for bananas (54.6 percent); cathodes & sections of cathodes, or refined copper (41.3 percent); miscellaneous manufactured articles, not elsewhere specified (21.1 percent); and chemicals (0.01 percent).
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Exports fell to Singapore (-32.2 percent), Hong Kong (-1.7 percent), and the ASEAN countries (-14.6 percent). Conversely, sales advanced to the US (13.6 percent), China (10.5 percent), and Japan (0.8 percent).
Imports increased 2.6 percent year-on-year to USD 7.97 billion in February 2019 from a downwardly revised 3.6 percent rise in January. Purchases rose for transport equipment (30 percent); cereals and cereal preparations (28.4 percent); mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (15.5 percent); other food and live animal (9.6 percent); and telecommunication equipment, and electrical machinery (7.6 percent). On the other hand, imports declined for iron and steel (-16.6 percent); miscellaneous manufactured articles (-10.4 percent); industrial machinery and equipment (-7.1 percent); electronic products (-4.1 percent), and plastics in primary and non-primary form (-1.3 percent).
Imports from China, the Philippines's biggest supplier of imported goods, rose 6 percent, followed by Japan (7.2 percent), the ASEAN countries (1.7 percent), and the EU (49.3 percent). By contrast, imports went down from South Korea (-13.8 percent), Thailand (-11.7 percent), and the US (-4.6 percent).
Considering the first two months of the year, exports dropped 3.9 percent from a year earlier to USD 10.46 billion and imports were up 3.1 percent to USD 17.17 billion, translating to a trade deficit of USD 6.71 billion.