Philippines Trade Balance Swings to Deficit in October


Philippines reported a trade deficit of USD 55.6 million in October of 2014, swinging from a revised USD 183 million surplus in the previous month and missed market forecasts, as imports grew at a faster pace than exports.

In October, exports rose 2.9 percent year-on-year and amounted to USD 5.17 billion from a revised USD 5.03 billion in the preceding month. Sales of machinery & transport equipment increased by 207.5 percent year-on-year and accounted for 7.2 percent of total exports revenue. Exports were also higher for coconut oil (+145.0 percent), other manufactures (+9.4 percent) and metal components (+8.9 percent). Sales of electronic products, the country's top exports and accounting for 43.0 percent of the total sales, rose 4.5 percent.  Among the major groups of electronic products, Components/Devices (Semiconductors) rose by 6.9 percent, comprising 29.5 percent of the total exports.  In contrast, exports of woodcrafts and furniture declined the most by 33.7 percent, followed by other mineral products (-25.7 percent); articles of apparel and clothing accessories (-7.5 percent); ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships (-6.2 percent) and chemicals (-6.0 percent).
 
By country, outward shipments to Japan, the country's top destination of exports, increased by 4.7 percent and it comprised 21.7 percent of the total. Exports to the US and  Hong Kong rose 7.5 percent and 32.7 percent respectively. Sales to the EU countries grew 1.2 percent and accounted for 11.7 percent share to total.
 
In contrast, sales to China declined by 3.0 percent while those to Singapore fell by 13.5 percent. Exports to ASEAN countries decreased by 9.0 percent and accounted for 15 percent of the total.  
 
In October, imports grew 7.5 percent and amounted to USD 5.21 billion from a revised USD 4.84 billion in the previous month. Higher purchases were recorded for plastics in primary and non-primary forms (+71.5 percent); iron and steel (+67.0 percent); other food and live animals (+59.7 percent); miscellaneous manufactured articles (+51.2 percent); mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (+18.7 percent); telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (+14.8 percent); industrial machinery and equipment (+11.2 percent) and cereals and cereal preparations (+9.9 percent). Lower inbound shipments were seen for transport equipment (-11.9 percent with 10.7 percent  share of total purchases) and electronic products (-11.3 percentwith 21.3 percent share of total imports). Among the major group of electronic products, Components/Devices (semiconductors) fell by 16.5 percent year-on-year and accounted for the biggest share of 15.0 percent among electronic products.
 
Purchases from China, the largest source of imports in October, rose by 35.2 percent year-on-year and amounted to USD 851.84 million. Higher imports were recorded from Japan (+5.2 percent; amounted to USD 448.13 million), Taiwan (+6.9 percent; amounted to USD 411.58 million) and the ASEAN countries (+32.9 percent; amounted to USD 1.44 billion). In contrast, purcahes from the US and the EU counytries declined by 11.9 percent and 25.1 percent respectively.
 
During January to October of 2014, exports increased 9.2 percent over a year earlier to USD 51.76 billion and imports rose 4.0 percent to USD 53.42 billion. That brought the trade deficit from January to October 2014 to USD 1.67 billion, compared to a USD 3.96 billion gap in the same period last year.

In October 2013, Philippines registered a USD 20.15 billion trade surplus.

Philippines Trade Balance Swings to Deficit in October


National Statistics Office l Rida l rida@tradingeconomics.com
12/23/2014 9:34:33 AM