PH trade gap widens to $3.76B in January

MANILA – The Philippine balance of trade in goods posted a wider deficit during the first month of the year as exports fell while imports increased during the period, data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Tuesday revealed.

“(T)he country’s balance of trade in goods (BoT-G) increased to a $3.76-billion deficit in January 2019, from $3.16 billion deficit in January 2018,” the PSA said in a statement.

This comes as exports during the month fell by 1.7 percent to a total value of $5.28 billion, down from the $5.37 billion the same month in 2018.

“This was due to the decreases in export sales of the five of the top 10 commodities, namely, electronic equipment and parts (-37.9 percent); metal components (-35.8 percent); gold (-33.3 percent); machinery and transport equipment (-24.2 percent); and other manufactured goods (-15.3 percent),” said the PSA.

Meanwhile, total imported goods for the month rose by 5.8 percent to $9.03 billion from the $8.54 billion in January 2018.

“The increment was triggered by the positive growth in eight of the top 10 major import commodities,” the PSA said.

Growth was recorded in the importation of cereals and cereal preparations (82.5 percent); transport equipment (33.6 percent); miscellaneous manufactured articles (15.8 percent); and plastics in primary and non-primary forms (11.1 percent).

Increases were also seen in the importation of telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (7.3 percent); other food and live animals (5.6 percent); industrial machinery and equipment (4.6 percent); and electronic products (4.1 percent).

The latest figures brought the total external trade in goods to $14.31 billion in January, reflecting an increment of 2.9 percent from the $13.91 billion in January 2018.

Bulk of this or 63.1 percent was accounted for by imported goods, while 36.9 percent was attributed to exported goods. (GMA News)


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