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PH trade sinks 12.8% in Oct

  • The Philippines’ total external trade dropped 12.8% year-on-year in October 2020
  • Balance of trade in October 2020 amounted to $1.78 billion, representing a trade deficit with an annual decline of 50.3% vis-à-vis the 47.7% deficit in September 2020
  • Imports fell 19.5% while exports dropped 2.2% in October 2020 
  • Electronic products remained the country’s top export and import commodity group
  • Manufactured goods was still the top export product and raw materials remained the top imported goods
  • The import of personal protective equipment and medical supplies in October 2020 expanded 27.3%

The Philippines’ total external trade in October 2020 recorded a 12.8% drop to US$14.18 billion from $16.25 billion in the same period last year, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The double-digit contraction is the ninth consecutive month of decline and is faster than the annual drop in September of 8.2%.

Of the total external trade in October 2020, 56.3% were imported goods, while the rest were exported goods.

Balance of trade in October 2020 amounted to $1.78 billion, representing a trade deficit with an annual decline of 50.3%, faster than the 47.7% deficit in September 2020 and 19.1% in October 2019.

Imports in October 2020 remained on a downward trend, falling 19.5% to $7.98 billion from $9.91 billion in October 2019.

PSA noted that the value of imports continued to have negative annual growth for 18 straight months since May 2019.

The contraction in October was due to the decrease in seven out of the top 10 major import commodities, led by transport equipment (-53.6%) and followed by mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (-49.9%); and industrial machinery and equipment (-28.8%).

From January to October 2020, total imports amounted to $70.04 billion, a decline of 25.2% compared with the import value of $93.61 billion posted in the same period of 2019.

Exports likewise dropped 2.2% to $6.20 billion in October 2020 from $6.34 billion in October 2019. This followed an increase in September 2020 after six months in a row of decline.

Of the top 10 major commodity groups of exports, five recorded annual decreases, with the highest rate of annual decrease led by fresh bananas (-42.5%). This was followed by ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships (-9.5%); and miscellaneous manufactured articles (-7%).

For the first 10 months of the year, total export earnings reached $52.11 billion, lower by 12.5% than the export value earned from January to October 2019.

By commodity group, electronic products remained as the country’s top export, valued at $3.58 billion or 57.8% of the total. It also contributed the highest in terms of imports, valued at $2.49 billion or 31.2% of the total.

By major type of goods, manufactured goods had the highest share to total exports with $5.24 billion or 84.5% of the total, while raw materials and intermediate goods accounted for the largest share of the total import bill with $3.22 billion or 40.4% of the aggregate.

The import of personal protective equipment and medical supplies in October 2020 expanded 27.3% to $20.55 million, attributed to the increase in imports of surgical face masks, protective clothing, other face masks, face shields, and testing kits.

By trading partner, the United States accounted for the highest value of exports, followed by Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

China remained as the Philippines’ biggest supplier of imported goods, while Japan, US, South Korea, and Indonesia were the other major import trading partners.

Image by Jarosław Bialik from Pixabay 

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