POST Online Media Lite Edition


Philippines trade gap narrows in April

Christian Fernsby |
The Philippine's trade deficit narrowed to USD 3.50 billion in April of 2019 from USD 3.70 billion in the same month a year earlier, as exports rose while imports dropped.

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Year-on-year, exports grew by 0.4 percent to USD 5.51 billion, rebounding from a downwardly revised 1.8 percent decline in a month earlier.

It was the first rise in overseas sales in five months, as sales advanced for bananas (76.7 percent); gold (36.1 percent); machinery and transport equipment (28.5 percent); coconut oil (18.1 percent); ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships (14.5 percent); and other manufactured products (4 percent).

Also, sales of electronic products, the country's the country's top exports, increased by 3 percent.

In contrast, sales fell for metal components (-27.2 percent), chemicals (-12.9 percent), and other mineral products (-11.9 percent).

Among major trading partners sales advanced to the US (10.6 percent), China (20.4 percent), South Korea (46.5 percent), and Thailand (9.7 percent).

In contrast, exports dropped to Japan (-2.4 percent), Hong Kong (-16.2 percent), Singapore (-25.2 percent), the ASEAN countries (-5.1 percent), and the EU countries (-9 percent).

Imports shrank 1.9 percent to USD 9.01 billion, after a 7.8 percent gain in March. It was the first fall in inbound shipments in four months, as purchases declined for transport equipment (-27.7 percent), plastics in primary and non-primary forms (-14.2 percent), iron and steel (-14.2 percent), industrial machinery and equipment (-10.6 percent), and telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (-1 percent).

Conversely, imports rose for mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (36.5 percent); cereals and cereal preparations (34.7 percent); miscellaneous manufactured articles (11 percent); other food and live animals (3.2 percent); and electronic products (2 percent).

Purchases declined from Japan (-15.9 percent), South Korea (-27.1 percent), the US (-3 percent), Indonesia (-8.5 percent), Thailand (-22.2 percent), Taiwan (-17.8 percent), and the EU countries (-1.7 percent).

On the other hand, imports from China, the Philippines's largest supplier of imported goods, surged 17 percent.

Also, purchases advanced from Singapore (14 percent), Vietnam (61.5 percent), Hong Kong (5.4 percent), United Arab Emirates (386 percent), India (18.5 percent), and the ASEAN countries (0.6 percent).

Considering the first four months of the year, exports fell 2.1 percent from a year earlier to USD 21.92 billion, while imports rose 2.9 percent to USD 35.18 billion, recording a USD 13.26 billion trade gap.

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