Philippine Posts Smallest Trade Gap in 5 Months


Philippines reported a trade deficit of USD976.9 million in November of 2015, as compared to a USD361.35 million gap a year earlier and above market consensus. It is the smallest deficit since June, as exports fell while imports rose less than expected.

In November, exports declined by 1.1 percent year-on-year to USD5.12 billion, following a 10.84 percent fall in the preceding month. Outbond shipments fell the most for articles of apparel and clothing accessories (-42.7 percent) and chemicals (-40.2 percent). Sales also decreased for: woodcrafts and furniture (-9.5 percent), other manufactures (-6.0 percent) and metal components (-3.7 percent). In contyrast, exports rose for: machinery and transport equipment (+54.1 percent); electronic equipment and parts (+19.7 percent); coconut oil (+17.9 percent) and ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships (+13.3 percent). Sales of electronic products, the country's top export revenues, also increased by 9.3 percent.

Sales dropped to China (-24.4 percent toUSD502.74 million, representing a 9.3 percent share of total exports) and Taiwan (-31.3 percent to USD386.50 million, 7.6 percent share). Sales to Japan, the country's top export destination, declined by 1.8 percent to USD1.09 billion. In contrast, outbond shipments rose to the US (+5.1 percent to USD716.73 million, 14.0 percent share), Hong Kong (+21.3 percent to USD557.71 million, 10.9 percent share), the ASEAN countries (+8.4 percent to USD713.98 million, 14.0 percent share) and the EU countries (+21.7 percent to USD617.17 million, 12.1 percent share).

Imports rose 10.1 percent to USD6.10 billion, the sixth straight month of increase. Purchases increased the most for electronic products (+68.8 percent) and industrial machinery and equipment (+37.3 percent). Import also went up for telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (+26.8 percent), transport equipment (+19.8 percent) and cereals and cereal preparations (+1.9 percent). In contrast, inbound shipments declined for: mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (-40.1 percent), plastics in primary and non-primary forms (-37.5 percent), iron and steel (-25.7 percent), other food and live animals (-19.6 percent) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (-0.2 percent).

Purchases from China, the biggest source of imports for Philippines, increased by 8.5 percent year-on-year to USD1.02 billion. Imports from Japan, the second largest source of purchases, rose by 60.7 percent to USD721.06 million, followed by the U.S (+33.7 percent to USD619.55 million), Taiwan (+77.5 percent to USD561.05 million), South Korea (+16.1 percent to USD466.36 million). Purchases also rose from the ASEAN countries (+11.8 percent to USD1.51 billion). In contrast, imports from the EU countries dropped by 20.1 percent to USD420.49 million.

In October 2015, the country registered a USD1,937 million trade deficit, the largest in record.

From January to November 2015, the Southeast Asian nation recorded a USD8.64 billion trade gap, widening from a USD2.63 billion in the same period of the preceding year.

Philippine Posts Smallest Trade Gap in 5 Months


PSA l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
1/26/2016 6:39:08 AM