Oct trade deficit widens 26%

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Photo by Mariah Dalusong on Unsplash
  • The country’s trade deficit widened by 26% in October 2023
  • The country’s external trade declined for the 11th consecutive month in October 2023, down 9.8% to $16.90 billion
  • Imports dropped 4.4% while exports sank 17.5%

The country’s trade deficit widened by 26% in October 2023, according to preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The trade deficit for October reached $4.17 billion, a 26% year-on-year increase, in contrast to the 25.8% decline in September 2023 and a 13.1% drop in October 2022.

External trade declined for the 11th consecutive month in October, amounting to $16.90 billion, down 9.8% from $18.74 billion in the same period last year.

Imports sank for the ninth month in a row in October, albeit at a slower rate than the previous month’s. Imports amounted to $10.54 billion in October, a 4.4% decrease from $11.02 billion year-on-year.

Of the commodity groups, electronic products, the country’s top import and export product, experienced the highest annual decrement in value, followed by mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, and other food and live animals.

Electronic products also claimed the largest share in October, amounting to $2.19 billion or 20.8% of the total import bill. Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials followed at $1.79 billion (17%), with transport equipment at $886.10 million (8.4%).

By major goods type, imports of raw materials and intermediate goods accounted for the largest share with $3.82 billion or 36.2%. Capital goods ranked second with $2.86 billion (27.2%), followed by consumer goods with $2.02 billion (19.2%).

From January to October, imports reached $104.97 billion, down 9.6% from the $116.08 billion recorded in the same period last year.

Exports declined for the second month in a row in October, dropping 17.5% to $6.36 billion from $7.71 billion year-on-year.

Electronic products led the annual decrement in value, followed by copper concentrates and coconut oil. Despite the decline, electronic products remained the top export with earnings of $3.62 billion, constituting 56.9% of the total export bill.

Manufactured goods were the leading export category by major type, contributing $5.19 billion or 81.5% to the total export bill. This was followed by mineral products with $599.36 million (9.4%), and total agro-based products with $418.59 million (6.6%).

From January to October, exports fell 7.8% to $60.91 billion from $66.08 billion in the same period last year.

In terms of trading partners, China remained the country’s top import source with $2.60 billion or 24.7% share in October, followed by Indonesia ($917.53 million), Japan ($834.89 million), South Korea ($785.81 million), and the US ($711.77 million).

The US emerged as the leading export destination in October 2023, accounting for $1.02 billion or a 16% share. Completing the top five major export trading partners were Japan, $902.65 million; China, $880.37 million; Hong Kong, $759.02 million; and South Korea, $317.38 million.