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Philippines agricultural trade deficit widened by 78.7%

Staff writer |
The country's agricultural trade deficit of the Philippine expanded by 78.72 percent to $2.73 billion in 2014 from $1.53 billion recorded in 2013.

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This is according to the latest report published by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Exports were noticeably down in October and December 2014, compared to the 2013 levels.
PSA said the country's farm deficit widened last year, as the growth in imports of agricultural commodities outpaced that of exports.

"Value of agricultural imports was 3.07 percent above last year's level at $9.5 billion. Monthly importations were above the 2013 level, with peak value posted in November at $999.52 million," the report read.

The country's top agricultural imports include soybean oil/cake meal, wheat and meslin, milk and cream, rice, fertilizer, meat of bovine animals, palm kernel olein, coffee, urea and corn.

"Total expenditures for the Top 10 agricultural imports increased by 26.91 percent. Expenditures for the country's biggest import—soybean oil/cake meal—were up by 27.75 percent. A noticeable growth of 158.96 percent was posted in rice imports," the report read.

PSA said payments for farm products purchased from abroad accounted for 14.03 percent of the country's total import expenditures of $67.75 billion last year.

Meanwhile, total earnings from Philippine agricultural exports rose by 5.78 percent to $6.76 billion last year. The figure represents nearly 11 percent of the country's total exports, which amounted to $61.8 billion.

"Exports were noticeably down in October and December 2014, compared to the 2013 levels," the report read.

PSA said coconut oil remained as the country's top farm export. Other top Philippine farm exports include fresh banana, tuna, pineapple, manufactured tobacco, desiccated coconut, seaweeds and copra oil cake.

The report noted that the country's agricultural trade with Japan recorded continued growth in surplus at $839.2 million, but at a slower rate of 2.95 percent. Trade with the European Union posted a deficit of $25.91 million, from a surplus recorded in 2013.

PSA also said increased trade deficits were recorded with Asean, Australia, the US by 93.46 percent, 45.85 percent, and 37.01 percent, respectively.

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