Year-on-year, imports increased 6.8 percent to USD 9.47 billion in November, lower than a 21.4 percent rise in October. Purchases grew for cereal and cereal preparations (113.5 percent); mineral fuels and lubricants (34.1 percent); iron & steel (24.9 percent); other food and live animals (19.9 percent); plastics in primary and non-primary form (12.5 percent); industrial machinery and equipment (10.5 percent); telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (4.5 percent); miscellaneous manufactured articles (4.4 percent); electronic products (3.9 percent); and transport equipment (0.2 percent).
Inbound shipments from China, the Philippine’s biggest source of purchases, grew 4.3 percent. Also, imports went up from South Korea (13.5 percent), the US (7.2 percent); and Vietnam (34.2 percent). In contrast, purchases fell from Japan (-4.6 percent) and Thailand (-3.2 percent); and the ASEAN countries (-4.8 percent).
Meantime, exports dropped by 0.3 percent to USD 5.57 billion, following an upwardly revised 5.5 percent rise in the previous month. It was the first decline in exports since May, as sales of electronic products, the country's top exports, decreased by 1.6 percent. Also, sales went down for chemicals (-16.9 percent); ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships (-14.9 percent), and coconut oil (-1.3 percent). On the other hand, sales rose for bananas (100.4 percent); machinery and transport equipment (80.3 percent); miscellaneous manufactured articles (35.5 percent); other mineral products (14.2 percent); metal components (6.5 percent), and other manufactured goods (5.7 percent).
Outbound shipments advanced to South Korea (47.8 percent); the US (12.6 percent); China (1.8 percent) and Malaysia (7.8 percent). By contrast, outbound shipments declined to Japan (-1.3 percent); Hong Kong (-15.2 percent), and the ASEAN countries (-5.7 percent)
Considering the first eleven months 2018, the trade deficit widened sharply to USD 37.69 billion from USD 23.41 billion in the same period a year earlier.