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Philippines trade deficit widens in August

Staff Writer |
The Philippine's trade deficit widened to USD 3.51 billion in August of 2018 from USD 2.74 billion in the same month a year earlier, as exports rose less than imports.

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Imports increased by 11 percent year-on-year to USD 9.68 billion, following a 31.6 percent surge in July.

Purchases grew for: cereal and cereal preparations (68.4 percent); iron and steel (63.6 percent); mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (42.3 percent); transport equipment (29.2 percent); plastic in primary and non-primary form (12.9 percent); electronic products (10 percent); miscellaneous manufactured articles (5 percent); industrial machinery and equipment (4.4 percent), and telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (0.03 percent).

By contrast inbound shipment fell for other food and live animals (-1.4 percent).

Inbound shipments went up from: South Korea (14.8 percent); the US (2.6 percent); the EU countries (26.7 percent); the ASEAN countries (3.6 percent) Purchases from China, the Philippine’s biggest source of purchases, also rose by 28.2 percent. In contrast, inbound shipment from Japan fell by 11.3 percent.

Meantime, exports went up by 3.1 percent to USD 6.16 billion, after a 0.3 percent gain in the previous month. It marked the third straight increase in outbound shipments, as sales increased for: cathodes and sections of cathodes, of refines copper (79 percent); bananas (46.9 percent); other mineral products (21.8 percent); other manufactured goods (6.4 percent); electronics equipment and parts (5.4 percent).

Sales of electronic products, the country’s top exports, also grew 7 percent. On the other hand, exports declined for: ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships (-22.9 percent); chemicals (-8.2 percent); metal components (-4.8 percent), and machinery and transports equipment (-3.5 percent).

Among major trading partners, exports rose to China (34.4 percent); the US (8.9 percent); Hong Kong (5.2 percent), and the ASEAN countries (10.3 percent). Meantime, sales decreased to Japan (-6.5 percent).

Considering the first eight months of the year, the trade deficit jumped to USD 26 billion from USD 15.79 billion in the same period of 2017, as imports went up 15 percent to USD 70.91 billion while exports went down 2 percent to USD 44.91 billion.

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