Year-on-year, imports jumped 26.1 percent to USD 9.75 billion in September, way faster than an 11 percent rise in August. Purchases grew for cereal and cereal preparations (101.4 percent); iron and steel (49.5 percent); miscellaneous manufactured articles (40.2 percent); transport equipment and electrical machinery (32.3 percent); plastic in primary and non-primary form (31.9 percent); electronic products (29.5 percent); telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (20.5 percent); mineral fuels and lubricants (19.3 percent); industrial machinery and equipment (17.3 percent); and other food and live animals (15.7 percent).
Inbound shipments from China, the Philippine’s biggest source of purchases, soared 38.5 percent. Also, imports went up from South Korea (49.9 percent), Japan (6.9 percent), Indonesia (24.3 percent), Thailand (28.4 percent), the ASEAN countries (27.8 percent) and the EU countries (49 percent).
Meanwhile, exports dropped 2.6 percent to USD 5.83 billion, following an upwardly revised 3.4 percent gain in the previous month. It was the first fall in outbound shipments in four months, as sales declined for coconut oil (-36.4 percent); machinery and transport equipment (-30.4 percent); ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships (-4.6 percent); other manufactured goods (-4.2 percent); gold (-2 percent) and electronic equipment and parts (-0.6 percent). In contrast, exports grew for bananas (189.2 percent); miscellaneous manufactured articles (10 percent) and metal components (7 percent). Also, sales of electronic products, the country’s top exports, increased by 4.2 percent.
Sales contracted to Hong Kong (-1.4 percent), Japan (-6.6 percent), China (-5.7 percent) and the EU countries (-29.3 percent). On the other hand, sales advanced to the US (9.2 percent), Singapore (5.9 percent) and the ASEAN countries (4 percent).
Considering the first nine months 2018, the trade deficit increased to USD 29.94 billion from USD 17.54 billion in the same period a year earlier.