Imports grew 13.2 percent to $51.84 billion in 2018 from $45.78 billion previously. Exports, on the other hand, declined by 3.4 percent from $34.04 billion in 2017 to $32.89 billion in 2018.
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Trade gap widens to $18.9 billion in first half of 2018
Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) - October 10, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s trade deficit widened to $18.94 billion in the first semester of the year as imports continued to significantly outpace exports, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported yesterday.

Total external trade in goods in the first six months of the year rose 6.2 percent to $84.73 billion from $70.82 billion in the same period last year, the PSA said in its updated trade report.

Imports grew 13.2 percent to $51.84 billion in 2018 from $45.78 billion previously. Exports, on the other hand, declined by 3.4 percent from $34.04 billion in 2017 to $32.89 billion in 2018.

This brought the country’s balance of trade in goods to $18.94 billion deficit in 2018, higher than the $11.75 billion deficit in 2017.

Electronic products continued to rake in the most dollars for the country with revenues of $18.33 billion in the first semester of 2018, up 5.4 percent from $17.40 billion in 2017. Outbound shipments of electronic products made up 55.7 percent of export revenues during the period.

Other top exports during the period were machinery and transport equipment; metal components; ignition wiring sets; gold; copper cathodes; coconut oil; and other mineral products.

Electronic products were also the country’s largest imported commodity in the first semester with inbound shipments rising 16 percent to $37.88 billion, comprising 73.1 percent of import payments.

Other top imports during the period were fuels; transport equipment; industrial machinery and equipment; iron and steel; food and live animals; telecommunication equipment; plastics; and cereals.

Trade still remained the most robust among traditional trade partners such as China, Japan, Korea, which has trade deficits with the Philippines during the period.

Export-wise, the biggest sales comes from electronic products and machinery. Import-wise, most of the inbound shipments from these countries were electronic products, iron and steel, industrial equipment and fuel.

The country maintained a trade surplus with US, Hong Kong in the first semester. The bulk of the exports to these destinations were electronics and manufactured goods and gold.

Import-wise, most of the inbound shipments from these countries were cereals, animal feed stuff and fuels.

The Philippines also had active trade activity with Singapore and Thailand as well as European Union countries of which trade with Germany was strongest.

Major goods exported to the EU were electronics, machinery and transport equipment, coconut oil, tuna, and manufactured goods.

EXPORTS PHILIPPINE STATISTICS AUTHORITY
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