Exports tumbled by 8.2 percent to USD 5.51 billion, following an upwardly revised 5.5 percent drop in the previous month. It was the second straight decline in outbound shipment, as sales fell for: machinery and transport equipment (-44.6 percent); gold (-33.8 percent); coconut oil (-30.3 percent); ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships (-28.9 percent); other manufactured goods (-24.5 percent); other mineral products (-21.5 percent), and metal component (-1.5 percent).
In contrast, exports grew for: cathodes and sections of cathodes of refined copper (8.1 percent); electronics equipment and parts (5.8 percent). Sales of electronic products, the country’s top exports, also went up by 6.8 percent.
Sales dropped to Japan (-4.3 percent); China (-3.1 percent); the ASEAN countries (-1.3 percent), and the EU countries (-15.9 percent). On the other hand, exports rose to the US (4.4 percent); and Hong Kong (4.7).
Meanwhile, imports inched up 0.1 percent year-on-year to USD 8.12 billion, after a downwardly revised 13.7 percent gain in February. Purchases went up for: mineral fuels, lubricant and related materials (30.6 percent); iron and steel (14.5 percent); electronics products (6.7 percent), and telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (4.4 percent). In contrast, imports dropped for: trasport equipment (-18.9 percent); miscellaneous manufactured articles (-14.1 percent); industrial machinery and equipment (-10.9 percent), and other food and live animals (-10.8 percent). Also imports fell for: plastics in primary and non-primary forms (-8.8 percent), and organic and inorganic chemicals (-5.8 percent).
Imports increased only from: South Korea (14.1 percent). Imports from China, the Philippine’s biggest source of purchases, fell by 12 percent. Also, imports went down from: Japan (-19.1 percent); the US (-10.5 percent); the ASEAN countries (-25 percent), and the EU countries (-0.7 percent).
Considering January to March, the trade deficit increased to USD 8.66 billion from USD 6.10 billion in the same period of 2017, as imports rose 6.8 percent to USD 24.42 billion and exports dropped 6 percent to USD 15.75 billion.