Philippines Trade Balance Swings to Surplus in December


Philippines reported a trade surplus of USD603.03 million in December of 2015, as compared to a USD667.47 million gap a year earlier and beating market consensus. It is the largest surplus since September 2014, as imports fell much more than exports.

In December, exports declined by 3.0 percent year-on-year to USD4.66 billion, following a 1.1 percent fall in the preceding month. Year-on-year, outbond shipments fell the most for articles of apparel and clothing accessories (-42.7 percent), followed by chemicals (-39.2 percent), other manufactures (-23.8 percent), machinery and transport equipment (-17.0 percent) and metal components (-16.5 percent). In contrast, sales rose for ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships (+55.7 percent), woodcrafts and furniture (+24.1 percent) and copper concentrates (+18.0 percent). Exports of electronic products, the country's top export revenues, also increased by 6.4 percent. For full year of 2015, exports dropped by 5.6 percent to USD58.65 billion.

Sales dropped to China (-22.7 percent to USD422-15 million, representing a 9.1 percent share of total exports), Singapore (-18.4 percent to USD303.29 million, 6.5 percent share) and the ASEAN countries (-0.9 percent to USD725.90 million, 15.6 percent share). Exports to Japan, the country's top export destination, declined by 7.7 percent to USD939.17 million. In contrast, outbond shipments rose to the US (+3.0 percent to USD697.33 million, 15.0 percent share), Hong Kong (+17.3 percent to USD574.85 million, 12.3 percent share) and the EU countries (+35.5 percent to USD654.98 million, 14.1 percent share).

Imports dropped by 25.8 percent to USD4.06 billion, the first decline in 7 months. Purchases decreased for: other food and live animals (-47.9 percent); feeding stuff for cereals (-33.1 percent); electronic products (-30.3 percent); miscellaneous manufactured articles (-18.1 percent); mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (-14.1 percent), telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (-9.0 percent); iron and steel (-5.4 percent); transport equipment (-3.3 percent) and industrial machinery and equipment (-3.2 percent). In contrast, imports increased by 19.8 percent for metal products.

Purchases from China, the biggest source of imports for Philippines, fell by 13.7 percent year-on-year to USD687.75 million. Imports also dropped from the US (-20.6 percent to USD417.05 million), Singapore (-28.9 percent to USD453.65 million), South Korea (-11.6 percent to USD312.14 million), the ASEAN countries (-23.3 percent to USD987.51 million) and the EU countries (-65.8 percent to USD256.56 million). In contrast, purchases from Japan, the second largest source of purchases, rose by 4.9 percent to USD481.57 million. 

In November 2015, the country registered a USD976.90 million trade deficit.

For full year of 2015, the Southeast Asian nation recorded a USD8.04 billion trade gap, widening from a USD3.30 billion deficit in the preceding year.

Philippines Trade Balance Swings to Surplus in December


PSA | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
2/24/2016 11:44:48 AM