Philippines Trade Balance Swings to Large Deficit

Philippines reported a trade deficit of USD1,230 million in September of 2015, swinging from a USD63.33 million surplus a year earlier but above market consensus, as exports plunged while imports rose.
PSA l Rida Husna | 11/25/2015 2:40:04 AM
In September, outbond shipments declined by 24.7 percent year-on-year to USD 4.40 billion, following a 6.3 percent drop in a month earlier. Sales declined the most for chemicals (-85.5 percent) and other mineral products (-72.8 percent). Exports also decreased for: other manufactures (-66.1 percent); metal components (-55.8 percent); articles of apparel and clothing accessories (-45.4 percent); coconut oil (-38.4 percent) and ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships (-2.7 percent). Sales of electronic products, the country's top export revenues, declined by 2.1 percent. In contrast, exports rose for woodcrafts and furniture (+22.0 percent) and machinery and transport equipment (+11.1 percent). 

Sales to the country's main trading partners mostly declined. Those to the US, representing a 14.5 percent of total exports, dropped  by 19.4 percent to USD638.14 million, followed by China (-28.9 percent to USD435.39 million, 9.9 percent share), the ASEAN countries (-29.7 percent to USD572.58 million with exports to Singapore falling by 34.8 percent to USD281.31 million) and the EU countries (-11.8 percent to USD534.65 million. Exports to Japan, the country's top destination of exports, plunged 47.7 percent to USD905.84 million. In contrast, outbond shipments to Hong Kong increased by 13.4 percent to USD610.15 million, 13.9 percent share).

Imports rose 6.7 percent to USD6.17 billion, the fourth straight month of increase. Purchases rose the most for metal products (+115.4 percent), followed by iron and steel (+59.7 percent), industrial machinery and equipment (+56.2 percent), transport equipment (+43.0 percent), telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (+34.7 percent), electronic products (+34.7 percent) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (+4.6 percent). In contrast, inbound shipments declined for: mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (-56.5 percent), plastics in primary and non-primary forms (-20.6 percent) and other food and live animals (-4.0 percent).

Purchases from China, the biggest source of imports for Philippines, increased by 16.8 percent year-on-year to USD944.17 million. Imports from the US, the second largest source of purchases, also rose by 33.6 percent to USD691.09 million, followed by Japan (+52.3 percent to USD4658.22 million) and the ASEAN countries (+6.1 percent to USD1.48 billion) and South Korea (+2.6 percent to USD447.24 million). In contrast, imports declined from the EU countries (-3.1 percent to USD609.57 million) and Taiwan (-2.0 percent to USD507.29 million).

In August 2015, the country registered a USD953.89 million trade deficit.

From January to September 2015, the Southeast Asian nation recorded a USD5.63 billion trade deficit, widening from a USD1.83 billion in the same period of last year.

Philippines Trade Balance Swings to Large Deficit