Home » Customs & Trade, Ports/Terminals » PH merchandise trade posts 10.5% growth in 2018

The Philippines’ total merchandise trade in 2018 increased 10.5% to US$182.15 billion from $164.81 billion in 2017, mainly due to the double-digit growth in imports, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Imports last year rose 17.4% to $112.84 billion from $96.09 billion in 2017, while exports slightly improved 0.9% to $69.31 billion from $68.71 billion. This resulted in the country’s unfavorable balance of trade in goods of $43.53 billion in 2018, which is higher than the trade deficit of $27.38 billion in 2017, PSA said.

Total payment for the country’s top 10 import commodities in 2018 reached $82.57 billion or 73.2% of the total import payment, reflecting an increase of 20.2% from the $68.69 billion total import in 2017.

Electronic products remained as the top imported commodity in 2018, with value reaching $28.66 billion or a share of 25.4% to total imports. Import of electronic products increased by 17.6% from $24.37 billion in 2017.

Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials ranked second with import value amounting to $14.04 billion, followed by transport equipment with $11.85 billion.

Export sales from the top 10 commodities reached $55.94 billion, which accounted for 80.7% of the total export revenue in 2018. Sales grew by 2.9% from an export value of $54.38 billion in 2017.

Electronic products continued to be the top export earner in 2018 with a share of 55.1% to the total export revenue. Its total export earnings of $38.18 billion in 2018 went up by 4.5% from a value of $36.54 billion in 2017.

Other manufactured goods, which came second, recorded $4.37 billion, followed by machinery and transport equipment with $3.31 billion in 2018.

The country’s top 10 trading partners contributed a total trade amounting to $140.46 billion or 77.1% of the total external trade in 2018.

China was the country’s top trading partner in 2018 with trade amounting to $30.83 billion or 16.9% of the total trade. Japan placed second, contributing 11.6% or $21.14 billion, followed by the US with $18.70 billion or a share of 10.3%.

PSA noted that majority of the country’s external trade came from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation member countries, valued at $151.53 billion or a share of 83.2% to the country’s total trade.

Trade with the European Union member countries was valued at $17.49 billion or 9.6% of the total, while trade with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations member countries was at $39.64 billion or 21.8%.

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