Philippines Trade Deficit Widens Sharply in March


Philippines reported a trade deficit of USD1.75 billion in March of 2016, larger than a 0.26 billion gap a year earlier as exports fell while imports rose.

Year-on-year, sales declined by 15.1 percent year-on-year to USD4.61 billion in March of 2016, following a 4.5 percent fall in the preceding month. It is the 12th consecutive month of decline and the fastest pace since September 2015. Outbond shipments fell the most for: articles of apparel and clothing accessories (-52.2 percent), followed by chemicals (-40.7 percent), metal components (-29.8 percent), machinery and transport equipment (-25.9 percent). In contrast, sales rose for: woodcrafts and furniture (+28.0 percent) and gold (+25.9 percent). Exports of electronic products, the country's top export revenues, also increased slightly by 1.0 percent. 

Outbound shipments declined to Japan (-13.6 percent to USD991.43 million), the US (-23.6 percent to USD672.85 million), China (-23.4 percent), the ASEAN countries (-0.6 percent to USD689.11 million) and the EU countries (-17.2 percent to USD576.93 million). In contrast, exports rose to Hong Kong (+11.6 percent to USD574.73 million).

Imports rose 11.7 percent to USD6.35 billion, after declining 5.6 percent in February. Purchases increased the most for iron and steel (+66.3 percent), industrial machinery & equipment (+50.4 percent), other food and live animals (+34.9 percent), electronic products (+30.1 percent), telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (+26.0 percent) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (+14.1 percent). In contrast, inbound shipments declined for: mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (-13.1 percent), organic and inorganic chemicals (-10.2 percent), plastics in primary and non-primary forms (-9.5 percent) and transport equipment (-2.3 percent). 

Purchases from China, the biggest source of purchases for Philippines, rose  45.3 percent year-on-year to USD1.03 billion. Those from Japan also increased by 48.9 percent to USD770.03 million, followed by  Thailand (+84.2 percent to USD619.51 million), South Korea (+6.7 percent to USD446.09 million) and the ASEAN countries (+27.9 percent to USD1.80 billion). In contrast, inbound shipments dropped to the US (-3.7 percent to USD574.76 million) and the EU countries (-40.0 percent to USD472.73 million). 

In February 2016, trade deficit was registered at  USD1.10 billion.

Philippines Trade Deficit Widens Sharply in March


PSA l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
5/25/2016 3:51:41 AM