PH Feb trade deficit narrows to 6% fueled by double-digit exports

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PH Feb trade deficit narrows to 6% fueled by double-digit exports
Image by Alexandre Gonçalves da Rocha from Pixabay
  • The country’s trade deficit saw a slower decline of 6% in February 2024 as trade in goods finally recorded an increase with both imports and exports posting increases during the period
  • Goods recorded a 9.7% increase to $15.46 billion in February 2024 from the $14.09 billion posted in the same period last year
  • Imports grew 6.3% to $9.55 billion while exports rose for the second month in a row with $5.91 billion or a 15.7% increase

The country’s trade deficit saw a slower decline in February 2024 as both imports and exports posted increases during the period, according to preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The balance of trade in February 2024 amounted to $3.65 billion, indicating a trade deficit with an annual decrease of 6%, slower than the 21% decrement in January 2024 but faster than the 1.4% decline in February 2023.

After 14 consecutive months of decline, the total traded in goods recorded a 9.7% increase to $15.46 billion in February 2024 from the $14.09 billion posted in the same period last year.

Imports, which accounted for 61.8% of the total, grew 6.3% to $9.55 billion in February 2024 from $8.98 billion in February 2023. It was an improvement after two consecutive months of decline.

From January to February, however, imports fell 0.5% to $19.88 billion from $19.98 billion in January to February 2023.

Exports, meanwhile, rose for the second month in a row with $5.91 billion, 15.7% higher than the $5.10 billion in February 2023.

From January to February, exports grew 12.3% to $11.84 billion from $10.55 billion in the same period last year.

By commodity group, electronic products continued to be the country’s top import and export.

Imports of electronic products accounted for 20.1% or $1.92 billion of the total import bill, while its export earnings reached $3.42 billion or 57.9% of the total export bill.

By major type of goods, imports of raw materials and intermediate goods remained to account for the largest share in February 2024, amounting to $3.49 billion or 36.5% of the total. Manufactured products, on the other hand, still contributed the largest to the country’s total exports in February 2024 with $4.88 billion or a share of 82.7%.

By major trading partner, exports to the US comprised the highest share amounting to $947.83 million or 16% of the total in February. It was followed by Japan, $849.17 million (14.4%); Hong Kong, $774.03 million (13.1%); China, $695.25 million (11.8%); and Thailand, $282.01 million (4.8%).

For imports, China remained the country’s largest supplier with $2.18 billion or 22.8% share in February 2024. Other top import sources were Japan with $845.23 million (8.8%); South Korea, $719.90 million (7.5%); Indonesia, $664.57 million (7%); and Thailand, $660.86 million (6.9%).