The Philippines’ total merchandise trade plunged 15.1% to US$155.03 billion in 2020 from $182.52 billion in 2019
Imports declined 19.5% to $89.81 billion, while exports dropped 8.1% to $65.21 billion
The balance of trade in 2020 was $24.60 billion, representing a trade deficit with an annual decline of 39.5%, faster than the year-on-year decline of 6.6% in 2019
Japan was the top export destination while China remained the top import source
The Philippines’ total merchandise trade plunged 15.1% to US$155.03 billion in 2020 from $182.52 billion in 2019 as both imports and exports decreased, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed.
Imports, which posted a decline in all months of 2020, sank 19.5% to $89.81 billion from $111.593 billion in 2019. The drop followed decreases in all top 10 major commodity groups, with the fastest recorded for transport equipment (-45%); mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (-42.9%); and industrial machinery and equipment (-26.4%).
Exports likewise dropped 8.1% to $65.21 billion from the $70.93 billion in 2019. Of the top 10 major commodity groups in terms of value of exports, eight recorded annual decreases led by metal components (-18.8%); ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships (-18.6%); and machinery and transport equipment (-16.3%).
Exports were mostly down in 2020, except in January, February, September and November.
Imported goods represented 57.9% of the total external trade, and exported goods the rest.
The balance of trade in 2020 was $24.60 billion, representing a trade deficit with an annual decline of 39.5%, faster than the year-on-year decline of 6.6% in 2019.
Electronic products remained the country’s top import and export in terms of commodity group in 2020. The group accounted for $26.64 billion or 29.7% of the total import bill, and 58.2% or $37.95 billion of the total export bill.
Other top import commodity groups were other manufactured goods at $3.60 billion (5.5%), and machinery and transport equipment with $2.25 billion (3.4%). Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, valued at $7.64 billion (8.5%), and transport equipment which amounted to $6.36 billion (7.1%) were the other top export commodity groups.
By major type of goods, imports of raw materials and intermediate goods still accounted for the largest share in 2020 with $36.16 billion or 40.3% share.
Manufactured goods also remained with the highest share to total exports last year with $53.78 billion or 82.5%.
By major trading partners, exports to Japan comprised the highest value of $10.03 billion or a share of 15.4% of the total, followed by the United States ($10.02 billion), China ($9.83 billion), and Singapore ($3.77 billion).
China remained the Philippines’ biggest supplier of imported goods with $20.87 billion or 23.2% of the total, while the other major import trading partners were Japan ($8.62 billion), US ($6.92 billion), South Korea ($6.89 billion), and Indonesia ($5.73 billion).