Philippines Trade Gap Widens to 10-Month High
Philippines reported a trade deficit of USD 2.57 billion in November of 2016, compared to a USD 0.98 billion gap a year earlier. It was the largest trade gap since January, as exports fell while imports rose.
In November, sales decreased 7.5 percent from a year ago to USD 4.73 billion following a 3.7 percent rise in October. It was the first drop in three months, as sales declined for: woodcrafts and furniture (-28.9 percent), machinery and transport equipment (-25.4 percent), chemicals (-26.2 percent), ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships (-25.6 percent), machinery and transport equipment (-25.4 percent), articles of apparel and clothing accessories (-7.6 percent), and metal components (-2.0 percent). Sales of electronic products, the country's top export revenues, also fell 7.9 percent. In contrast, sales rose for: coconut oil (+44 percent), other mineral products (+39 percent), and other manufactures (+3 percent). Outbound shipments fell to the US (-13.5 percent), Singapore (-8.6 percent) and the ASEAN countries (-1.3 percent). Those to Japan, the country's top export destination also dropped by 21.8 percent. In contrast, sales went up to China (+5.2 percent) and Hong Kong (+4.7 percent).
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Imports jumped 19.7 percent to USD 7.30 billion in November of 2016, compared to a 5.9 percent rise in the preceding month. It was the fastest growth in six months, as purchases rose for most categories : iron and steel (+100 pecent), transport equipment (+76.3 percent), industrial machinery and equipment (+52.2 percent), miscellaneous manufactured articles (+51.6 percent), plastics in primary and non-primary forms (+50.3 percent), telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (+32.3 percent), and other food and live animal (+27.3 percent). In contrast, imports of electronic products fell 7 percent. Purchases increased from: China (+20.3 percent), Japan (+15.1 percent), Thailand (+22.1 percent), the ASEAN countries (+31 percent) and the EU countries (+26.1 percent). In contrast, imports declined from the US (-4.2 percent).
From January to November 2016, exports shrank 5.2 percent from the same period a year earlier to USD 51.36 billion while imports went up 13.7 percent to USD 73.72 billion. That brought the trade deficit during the period to USD 22.36 billion, widening sharply from a USD 10.65 billion gap in the prior year.
In October 2016, trade deficit was recorded at USD 2.16 billion.