Trade deficit hits $3.58 B in August

Published October 12, 2021, 12:51 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

Amid global recovery, the country’s merchandise exports grew by double digits in August, but the expansion was still short to outpace the strong growth in imports that resulted in a wider trade-in-goods deficit.

Manila International Container Terminal 1

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Tuesday, Oct. 12, that the country registered a trade gap of $3.577 billion last August, higher by 64 percent compared with $2.179 billion in the same month last year.

The Philippine purchases of goods from abroad, or imports, rose 31 percent to $10.043 billion during the month from $7.679 billion a year ago.

Purchases of electronics, which accounts for 27.9 percent of the total import bill, rose 18.5 percent to $2.8 billion over last year’s.

The growth in electronics imports, which are used to assemble the country’s major dollar-earning product, indicate manufacturers expect growth in exports in the coming months.

Moreover, imports of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials surged 116.2 percent to $1.3 billion year-on-year.

The People’s Republic of China continued to be the top source of imports with $2.36 billion, followed by Japan, $920.67 million and South Korea, $796.89 million.

Other major sources of imports for the month were Thailand, $651.92 million; United States, $645.57 million; Indonesia, $611.8 million; Singapore, $563.6 million; Taiwan, $503.9 million; Malaysia, $468.5 million; and Vietnam, $322.5 million.

Meanwhile, shipments of Philippine-made goods abroad, or exports, grew 17.6 percent to $6.466 billion from $5.499 billion in the same month last year.

Electronics, which accounted for 57.1 percent of the total dollar receipts in August, rose 41.8 percent to $3.69 billion, followed by other manufactured goods with $374.42 million.

Rounding up the list of the country’s top exports for August were other mineral products, $294.6 million; machinery and transport equipment, $214.8 million; and petroleum products, ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships, $210.6 million.

The People’s Republic of China continued to be the top market with purchases of $1.049 billion, while United States came next with $1.024 billion, followed by Japan, $940.5 million and Hong Kong, $930.8 million.

Other top markets during the period were the Singapore, $392.1 million; Thailand, $304.9 million; Germany, $276.1 million; Taiwan, $208.6 million; Republic of Korea, $182.6 million; and The Netherlands, $164.1 million.

Year-to-date, imports and exports have risen 31.1 percent and 19.9 percent, respectively. These numbers exceeded the Development and Budget Coordinating Committee full-year targets for imports and exports of 12 percent and 10 percent, respectively.