PH trade deficit narrows 24% in Jan as exports recover

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PH trade deficit narrows 24% in Jan as exports recover
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  • The Philippines’ trade deficit narrowed 24% in January year-on-year as imports continued to drop and exports recovered
  • Total external trade in goods declined for the 14th consecutive month in January 2024, slipping 2.1% to $16.09 billion
  • Imports shrank 7.6% to $10.16 billion while exports recovered after four months of decline with a 9.1% growth to $5.94 billion
  • Electronic products continued to be the country’s top import and export commodity
  • China is still the country’s top supplier while the US is the top export destination

The Philippines’ trade deficit narrowed 24% in January year-on-year as imports continued to drop and exports recovered, based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The balance of trade in goods in January amounted to $4.22 billion, faster than the 7.4% decline in December 2023 and just slightly slower than the 24.1% increment in January 2023.

The trade gap amounted to $4.22 billion in January, less than the $5.56 billion deficit recorded year-on-year but more than the $4.18 billion deficit in December.

The country’s total external trade in goods declined for the 14th consecutive month in January 2024, dropping 2.1% to $16.09 billion from the $16.44 billion in January 2023.

Imports, which accounted for 63.1% of the total, shrank 7.6% to $10.16 billion in the first month of the year from $11 billion in the same period last year.

Exports, on the other hand, posted a 9.1% growth to $5.94 billion from $5.44 billion in January 2023 after being down for four straight months.

Electronic products remain the country’s top import and export commodity, accounting for $2.19 billion or a share of 21.6% to imports, and $3.45 billion or 58.2% of the total export bill.

Manufactured goods still contributed the largest share of the total export bill with $4.83 billion or 81.4% share. For imports, raw materials and intermediate goods continued to account for the biggest chunk, amounting to $3.73 billion or a share of 36.8%.

China remains the country’s top import source with $2.65 billion or 26.1% of the total import bill in January. It was followed by Japan ($789.36 million); Indonesia ($779.13 million); South Korea (682 million); and the US ($671.86 million).

In terms of exports, the US was the top destination, accounting for $902.33 million or a share of 15.2% of the total export bill in January. The other top export destinations were Japan ($869.25 million); Hong Kong ($761.08 million); China ($624.79 million); and South Korea ($356.16 million).

READ: PH trade deficit narrows 11% in December