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PH imports accelerate 30.8%, exports by 17.6% in Aug

  • The Philippines’ merchandise trade continued to record growth for the seventh consecutive month in August 2021
  • Trade rose by 25.3% to US$16.51 billion for August
  • Imports increased 30.8% while exports rose 17.6%
  • Trade deficit grew 64.1% to $3.58 billion, lower than the 71.4% increase in July 2021 and a reversal from the 27.5% decline recorded in August 2020
  • Electronic products were still the top imported and exported commodity, while raw materials and intermediate goods remained the top imported and exported type of goods

The Philippines’ merchandise trade continued to record growth for the seventh consecutive month in August 2021, rising by 25.3% year-on-year for the month, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Imports grew for the seventh consecutive month to $10.04 billion in August 2021, a 30.8% improvement from $7.679 million in the same month in 2020. The development follows after imports registered a downward trend from May 2019 to January 2021.

Exports likewise recorded a double-digit growth of 17.6% to $6.47 billion in August 2021 from $5.5 million in August 2020. This is the sixth month in a row of growth for exports.

 

External trade amounted to US$16.51 billion in August 2021, higher than the $13.179 billion recorded in the same month last year. This is the seventh month in a row of improvement after the February 2021 modest growth broke 12 straight months of decline since February 2020. Trade in March 2020 and the succeeding months was affected by restrictions in both production supply chains and global trade flow due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the total external trade in August 2021, 60.8% was imported goods, while the rest was exported goods.

Trade deficit grew 64.1% to $3.58 billion, lower than the 71.4% increase in July 2021 and a reversal from the 27.5% decline recorded in August 2020.

The annual increment in imports was due to the increase in all the top 10 major commodity groups, which was led by mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials with 116.2% increase. This was followed by medicinal and pharmaceutical products (73.2%) and iron and steel (55.6%).

For the period January to August 2021, imports amounted to $74.18 billion, representing an increment of 31.1% from $56.59 billion in the same period of 2020.

 

All the top 10 major export commodity groups also recorded annual increases, led by cathodes & sections of cathodes, of refined copper (162.5%). This was followed by electronic equipment and parts (41.8%), and coconut oil (31.8%).

For the period January to August 2021, exports rose 19.6% to $48.93 billion year-on-year.

Electronic products remained the country’s top import commodity, accounting for 27.9% share or $2.80 billion in August 2021. It was also still the top exported commodity, contributing 57.1% or $3.69 billion to the total.

By major type of goods, imports of raw materials and intermediate goods still accounted for the largest share of 42.6% or $4.28 billion. Exports of manufactured goods still had the biggest share with 82.8% or $5.36 billion.

Imports of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies, including COVID-19 vaccines, increased 428.5% to $165.12 million in August 2021. The total import of the COVID-19 vaccines for the period was valued at $116.50 million.

Exports of PPE and medical supplies, meanwhile, dropped for the seventh straight month, registering a fall of 81.7% to $1.83 million in August.

In terms of trading partners, China remained as the Philippines’ biggest supplier, while Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and the US were the other major import trading partners.

For exports, China was also the top destination, followed by the US, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

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