PH trade deficit shrinks 27.3% in Sept with impex decline

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  • The country’s trade deficit posted an annual decline of 27.3% in September as both imports and exports decreased during the period
  • External trade in September was down 11.6%, its 10th consecutive month of decline
  • For the eighth month in a row imports dropped, by 14.7% to $10.24 billion
  • After a rebound in August, exports sank 6.3% in September to $6.73 billion
  • China remained the country’s top import source while the US is the top export destination

The Philippines’ trade deficit shrank 27.3% in September 2023 amid a decrease in both imports and exports, according to latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

In August 2023, the trade deficit recorded an annual decline of 31.4%, while an annual growth of 26.8% was posted in September 2022.

External trade in September amounted to $16.97 billion, down 11.6% from $19.19 billion in the same period last year. This is the 10th consecutive month where external trade declined. Imports made up 60.3% of this trade, while the rest were exports.

Imports declined for the eighth month in a row in September, dropping 14.7% to $10.24 billion from $12.01 billion in the same month of the previous year. The main imports included electronic products, mineral fuels, lubricants, related materials, and organic and inorganic chemicals.

Electronic products made up 21.5% or $2.20 billion of the total import bill in September. Raw materials and intermediate goods were the largest share of imports, totaling $3.60 billion or 35.2% in September.

From January to September, imports amounted to $94.36 billion, 1.2% lower than the $105.06 billion posted in the same period in 2022.

After a rebound in August, exports sank 6.3% in September to $6.73 billion from $7.18 billion recorded in September 2022.

Electronic products saw the most significant drop in export value, followed by other manufactured goods and other mineral products. However, they remained to be the country’s top export in September, with total earnings of $4.09 billion or 60.8% of the total export bill.

Manufactured goods were the largest contributors to exports, totaling $5.56 billion or 82.7% in September.

From January to September, exports dropped 6.6% to $54.54 billion compared to $58.37 billion in the same period last year.

China remained the country’s largest supplier of imported goods with $2.63 billion or 25.6% of the total import bill in September. It was followed by Indonesia ($902.56 million); Thailand ($840.32 million); Japan ($833.15 million); and South Korea ($696.29 million).

Top export trading partners are the US at $1.06 billion or 15.8% of total exports, China ($1.05 billion), Japan ($898.94 million), Hong Kong ($836.17 million), and South Korea ($306.54 million).

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