Philippines Trade Gap Widens Sharply in February
The Philippine's trade deficit widened 73.3 percent to USD 3.06 billion in February of 2018 from USD 1.77 billion in the same month a year earlier, as imports surged while exports fell.
In February, imports soared 18.6 percent year-on-year to USD 7.72 billion, after a 11.4 percent gain in January. It was the fifth straight month of double-digit growth in inbound shipments, as purchases went up the most for: miscelleneous manufacture of articles (84.3 percent), industrial machinery & equipment (75.1 percent) and iron steel (32.7 percent). Also, imports rose for: cereal and cereal preparations (23.5 perccnt); transport equipment (20.1 percent); telecommunication equipment & electrical machinery (17.1 percent), electronic products (-13.5 percent); plastics in primary and non-primary forms (9.3 percent), and mineral fuels, lubricants and related material (0.1 percent). In contrast, imports dropped only for other food and live animals (-2.5 percent).
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Imports from China, the Philippine’s biggest source of purchases, jumped by 57.7 percent. Also, imports went up from: South Korea (42.5 percent); the US (25.1 percent); the ASEAN countries (12.5 percent), and the EU countries (8.5 percent). In contrast inbound shipment fell from Japan (-6.5 percent).
Meanwhile, exports declined by 1.8 percent to USD 4.66 billion, following an upwardly revised 3.5 percent growth in the previous month. It was the first decrease in outbound shipments since a drop in November 2016, as sales fell for: chemicals (-46 percent); ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships (-35 percent); electronics equipment and parts (-15.5 percent), other manufactured goods (-10.8 percent), and machinery & transport equipment (-9.9 percent). In contrast, exports grew for: metal components (91.1 percent); miscellaneous manufactured articles (53.8 percent), gold (12 percent), cathodes and sections of cathodes of refined copper (8.6 percent). Sales of electronic products, the country’s top exports, also went up by 4.6 percent.
Sales dropped to the US (-5.4 percent); Japan (-6.5 percent) and Hong Kong (-9.3 percent). On the other hand, exports rose to China (17.7 percent); Hong Kong (37.1 percent), the ASEAN countries (9 percent) and the EU countries (9.4 percent).