The country’s trade deficit dropped in August as imports slowed at much faster pace than exports, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.
The gap in the trade balance, which is the difference between the value of export and import, reached $2.07 billion in August, lower by 31 percent from $3 billion in the same month last year.
The August performance brought the country’s first eight-month trade deficit to $14.61 billion, lower by 46 percent compared with P27.07 billion in same period last year.
Meanwhile, total export sales in declined anew, marking its sixth consecutive month of negative growth, to $5.1 billion from $6.3 billion last year.
Of the top 10 major exports of the country, eight posted an annual declines, with gold (-31.3 percent); electronic products (-20.1 percent); and fresh bananas (-19.4 percent).
Despite the double-digit decline, electronic products remained the country’s top export with $2.93 billion, accounting for 57.1 percent of the total. It was followed by other manufactured goods with $267.14 million, and other mineral products with $218.65 million.
Exports to Japan comprised the highest value at $887.38 million, or 17.3 percent of the total, followed by the United States with $751.68 million, People’s Republic of China with $732.57 million, Hong Kong with $724.27 million and Singapore with $330.67 million.
In January to August, the total export earnings amounted to $39.29 billion, down by 16.6 percent from $41.3 billion in the same period in 2019.
For 16th straight month in August, the country’s imports remained at the downtrend, registering an annual decline of 22.67 percent to $7.2 billion from $9.31 billion a year ago.
All major imports of the country contracted during the month. The fastest deceleration was in transport equipment (-50.5 percent), mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (-47.7 percent); and miscellaneous manufactured articles (-28.3 percent).
In August, China was the country’s biggest supplier of imported goods at $1.82 billion, followed by Japan with $623.69 million, US at $517.77 million, Singapore at $495.11 million, and South Korea at $493.11
At end-August, the total imports reached $53.9 billion, down by 27 percent compared with P74.2 billion
in the same period last year.