Imports jumped 22.2 percent year-on-year to USD 8.73 billion, after an upwardly revised 0.3 percent gain in March. Purchases grew for all products : miscellaneous manufactured articles (49.1 pct); plastics in primary and non-primary forms (41.5 pct); telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (33.6 pct); transport equipment (31.4 pct); iron and steel (30.8 pct); other food and live animals (29.4 pct); mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (27.1 pct); organic and inorganic chemicals 25.1 pct); industrial machinery and equipment (24.1 pct), electronic products (15.2 pct).
Imports increased from : South Korea (53.3 pct); the EU countries (29.5 pct); the ASEAN countries (21.9 pct); the US (11.8 pct), and Japan (3.7 pct). Purchases from China, the Philippine’s biggest source of purchases, also rose by 35.3 percent.
Meanwhile, exports tumbled by 8.5 percent to USD 5.11 billion, following a downwardly revised 6.8 percent drop in the previous month. It is the fourth straight decline in outbound shipment, as sales fell for: machinery and transport equipment (-45 pct); gold (-25.2 pct); ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships (-24.4 pct); coconut oil (-23.9 pct), and electronics equipment part (-1 percent). In contrast, exports grew for: miscellaneous manufactured articles, n.e.s (71.9 pct); other mineral products (3.3 pct), and metal components. Sales of electronic products, the country’s top exports, also went up by 5.5 percent.
Among major trading partners, exports dropped to Japan (-30.2 pct); the EU countries (-8.9 pct), and China (-4.6 pct). On the other hand, sales rose to the US (14.1 pct); Hong Kong (25.7 pct), and the ASEAN countries (4.5 pct), mainly to Singapore (9.1 pct).
Considering January to April, the trade deficit increased to USD 12.20 billion from USD 7.66 billion in the same period of 2017, as imports rose 10.5 percent to USD 33.16 billion while exports dropped 6.2 percent to USD 20.96 billion.