Philippines Trade Deficit Widens in April on Rising Imports

In April of 2013, Philippines’ trade deficit widened to USD 1020 million, from USD 593 million in the previous month and USD 153 million a year earlier. While exports dropped on weak US and China demand, imports recorded the first annual rise in four months.
National Statistics Office | Joana Taborda | 6/25/2013 10:23:50 AM
Export earnings in April of 2013 amounted to USD 4.121 billion, an 11.1 percent contraction from USD 4.635 billion recorded in April of 2012. Similarly, on a monthly basis, it dropped by 4.8 percent. The negative growth was supported by six major commodities: chemicals, other manufactures, machinery and transport equipment, electronic equipment and parts, metal components and electronic products.

Electronic Products emerged as the country’s top export with total receipts of USD 1.630 billion, down by 0.4 percent on a year-on-year basis. Month-on-month, shipments of Electronic Products went down by 7.2 percent.

Japan, comprising 23.2 percent share to total exports for April of 2013, emerged as the country’s top destination of exports. Revenues were higher by 27.5 percent from a year ago. United States, accounting for 15.1 percent share to total exports followed as the second top market, with exports posting a decrease of 10.2 percent from a year earlier and shipments to China, comprising for 11.3 percent of total share, contracted by 8.3 percent over a year earlier.

Total merchandise imports went up by 7.4 percent to USD 5141 million in April of 2013 from USD 4788 million in April of 2012. Similarly, it increased by 4.5 percent over the previous month. The growth was supported by higher imports of transport equipment; medicinal and pharmaceutical products; mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials; other food and live animals; industrial machinery and equipment; organic and inorganic chemicals; and iron and steel.

Accounting for 25 percent of the aggregate import bill, mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials was the top imported commodity, with payments amounting to USD 1.283 billion, up by 21.4 percent over last year's figure of USD 1.057 billion. Volume of shipment of this product also went up by 61.2 percent year-on-year.

The United States were the country’s biggest source of imports with 13.9 percent share of the total import bill, higher by 25.9 percent from April of 2012.  The increase was attributed to the purchase of an aircraft.

Philippines Trade Deficit Widens in April on Rising Imports