Philippine trade deficit reaches five-month high

In April

A surge in imports led to the country’s trade deficit reaching its highest level since November last year, preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.

Based on the PSA report released on Tuesday, June 11, the gap in the trade balance, or the difference between the value of export and import, jumped by 38 percent to $4.76 billion from $3.44 billion a month earlier.

The April trade gap, however, is lower by 1.5 percent compared with $4.83 billion in the same month last year.

It was also the widest trade gap in five months since the $4.77 billion deficit in November last year.

Total sales of domestic goods increased to $6.22 billion in April from the 7.3 percent drop in March and the 20.3 percent decline in April 2023.

The value of the country’s imports also increased to $9.75 billion from the 17.7 percent a month ago, but 15 percent lower year-on-year.

Hong Kong was the primary buyer of Philippine-made goods, valued at $1.03 million, or a share of 16.5 percent to the total exports during the month.

Other top export markets were the United States of America with $948.43 million, Japan with $823.27 million, People’s Republic of China with $702.02 million and Republic of Korea with $314.59 million.

Electronic products had the highest year-on-year increase in the country’s export values, accounting for the bulk of the total, or $3.56 billion, followed by other coconut oil with $192 million as well as other mineral products with $287.65 million.

Meanwhile, China was the country’s biggest supplier of imported goods valued at $3.15 billion, or 28.7 percent of the total, followed by Indonesia with $959.21 million, Japan with $909.54 million, Republic of Korea with $743.11 million and USA with $726.20 million.

Electronic products, on the other hand, had the highest annual increase in export value at $2.31 billion; while mineral fuels, lubricants, and related materials ranked second with a share of $ 1.66 billion; followed by iron and steel with $571.3 million.