PH trade deficit narrows in Sept. to $3.12 billion

Published November 6, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chino S. Leyco

The country’s shortfall in trade with the rest of the world narrowed in September as exports and imports both declined, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

Data from the PSA showed yesterday that the total deficit on trade-in-goods stood at $3.12 billion in September, down 22 percent compared with $4.02 billion in the same month last year.

The trade gap, however, was higher by 29 percent than the previous month’s $2.41 billion.

The Philippines’ total export reached $5.9 billion in September, lower by 2.6 percent from $6.05 billion a year before.

According to the PSA, the decrease was due to weaker export sales of seven of the top 10 major commodities.

Lower exports were in metal components (-26 percent), apparel and clothing accessories (-21 percent), machinery and transport equipment (-20 percent), and miscellaneous manufactured articles (-8.1 percent).

Other decliners were ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships (-7.0 percent); other manufactured goods (-6.3 percent); and gold (-1.8 percent).

By commodity group, exports of electronic products continued to be the country’s top export with total earnings of $3.59 billion, accounting for 60.9 percent of the total in September.

Meanwhile, total imports also declined by 10.5 percent in September to $9.02 billion from $10.08 billion in the same month last year due to the decrements in seven of the top 10 major imported commodities.

The lower import sales were recorded in iron and steel (-46.8 percent), cereals and cereal preparations (-22 percent), mineral fuels, and lubricants and related materials (-14.5 percent).

Likewise, drop in revenues were seen in imports of plastics in primary and non-primary forms (-9.4 percent); transport equipment (-7.8 percent); electronic products (-7.1 percent); and industrial machinery and equipment (-1.2 percent).

Among the imported commodity groups, import bills of electronic products valued at $2.28 billion, contributed the highest share of 25.3 percent to the total imports.

By major trading partners, exports to Japan comprised the highest value of $957.06 million or a share of 16.2 percent to the total in September.