Philippines Trade Gap Smallest in 17 Months


The Philippines posted a trade deficit of USD 1.65 billion in July of 2017, compared to a USD 2.37 billion gap in the same month a year earlier. It was the smallest trade deficit since February 2016, as exports rose while imports fell.

In July, sales rose 10.4 percent year earlier to USD 5.28 billion, following an upwardly revised 5.8 percent rise in a month earlier. Outbound shipments rose for: machinery and transport equipment (63.8 percent), electronic equipment and parts (60.2 percent), metal components (21.2 percent), ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircraft and ships (15.4 percent). Sales of electronic products, the country’s top exports, also went up by 11.8 percent. In contrast, sales fell for: woodcrafts and furniture (-4.9 percent), coconut oil (-7.8 percent) and other manufactured goods (-3.8 percent).
 
Exports increased to Hong Kong (26.2 percent), China (7.9 percent), the US (1.7 percent), the ASEAN countries (10.4 percent) and the EU countries (19.7 percent). In contrast, sales declined to Japan (-1.1 percent) and Singapore (-7.5 percent). 

Imports dropped by 3.2 percent year-on-year to USD 6.93 billion, compared to a downwardly revised 1.3 percent fall in June. It was the second straight month of decline in inbound shipments, driven by iron and steel (-40.7 percent), electronic products (-21.0 perct), plastics in primary and non-primary forms (-13.8 percent), miscellaneous manufactured articles (-8.3 percent), industrial machinery and equipment (-5.3 percent). In contrast,  imports went up for: transport equipment (13.5 percent); mineral fuels (30.6 percent) and telecommunication equipment and electrical (3.5 percent), metalliferous ores and metal scrap (322.8 percent), and live animals (2.4 percent). Inbound shipments from China, the Philippines’s biggest source of imports, went down by 12.6 percent. Imports also fell from the US (-14.2 percent), Japan (-12.6 percent), Thailand (-3.7 percent), and the EU countries (-17.0 percent). In contrast, purchases rose from: South Korea (17.4 percent) and the ASEAN countries (8.5 percent).
 
In June 2017, the trade deficit was downwardly revised to USD 1.99 billion.
 
Considering January to July 2017, the trade deficit was recorded at USD 14.66 billion, down slightly from a USD 15.37 billion gap in the same period the prior year. Exports in the period grew by 13.9 percent to USD 36.60 billion while imports rose 7.9 percent to USD 51.23 billion.
 

Philippines Trade Gap Smallest in 17 Months


PSA l Chusnul Ch. Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com
9/12/2017 3:45:10 AM