Year-on-year, exports rose by 0.6 percent to USD 6.25 billion, after a 3.5 percent gain in the previous month. It was the fifth straight month of increase in exports, but the smallest growth, as sales advanced for gold (93.2%), ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircraft and ships (7.6%). Also, sales of electronic products, the country's top exports, rose by 6.6 percent. By contrast, sales fell for cathodes and sections of cathodes, of refined copper (-39.2%); metal components (-3.7%); chemicals (-16.1%); bananas (-1.3%); machinery and transport (-10.8%); other mineral products (-8.3%), other manufacture goods (-17.7%).
Among the Philippines' major trading partners sales advanced to the US (7.0%), China (1.6%), South Korea (38.7%), Hong Kong (10.0%). Conversely, exports contracted to Japan (-2.9%), the Netherlands (-9.2%), Singapore (-13.8%), Taiwan (-21.6%), Thailand (-1.9%), the EU countries (-3.2%). and the ASEAN countries (-5.4%).
Imports plunged by 11.8 percent to USD 8.70 billion in August 2019, following a 4.2 percent fall in the prior month. This was the fifth consecutive month of yearly decline in inbound shipments, of which iron & steel (-44.2%); mineral fuels, lubricants (-11.9%); transport equipment (-29.1%); industrial machinery and equipment (-15.3%); other food and live animals (-4.4%), cereals & cereal preparations (-23.4%); electronic products (-6%), and plastics in primary and non-primary form (-8.7%). By contrast, inbound shipment rose for: miscellaneous manufactured articles (24.9%); telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (11.4%).
Purchases declined from Japan (-6.7%), South Korea (-37.1%), the US (-14.6%), Thailand (-27.8%), Malaysia (-9.3%), Taiwan (-17.1%), the ASEAN countries (-4.0%), and the EU (-29.2%). Purchases from China, the Philippines's largest supplier of imports, rose 4.6 percent. Also, arrivals increased from Singapore (7.1%), Hong Kong (19.0%),and Indonesia (11.0%).
Considering the first eight months of the year, exports edged up 0.1 percent from a year earlier while imports declined 2.8 percent, recording a USD 24.70 billion trade gap.