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Philippine trade deficit widened to $4.174B in October

The Philippine trade deficit widened in October even as exports contracted at a faster rate than imports, data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Tuesday revealed.

Preliminary data showed that the balance of trade in goods (BoT-G) posted a $4.174-billion deficit in October, higher than the $3.583-billion deficit in September, and the $3.313-billion deficit the previous year.

A deficit indicates that the value of a country's imports exceeded export receipts, while a surplus indicates more export shipments than imports.

Exports for the month were recorded at $6.364 billion, reflecting a 17.5% decline from $7.711 billion the previous year, and lower than the $6.732 billion in September.

The biggest annual drop was seen in the export of electronic products, which fell by $1.476 billion to $3.623 billion, followed by copper concentrates by $43.09 million to $13.97 million, coconut oil by $23.22 million to $114.57 million, gold by $15.21 million to $76.58 million, and miscellaneous manufactured articles by $13.19 million to $51.93 million.

Exports of manufactured goods accounted for the largest shares in October with $5.19 billion or 81.5%, followed by mineral products with $599.36 million or 9.4%, and total agro-based products with $418.49 million or 6.6%.

The United States of America remained the biggest recipient of Philippine exports, accounting for $1.02 billion or 16.0%. It was followed by Japan with $902.65 million, China with $880.37 million, Hong Kong with $759.02 million, and South Korea with $317.38 million.

Meanwhile, the total imported goods for the month amounted to $10.539 billion or 4.4% lower than the $11.024 billion recorded the previous year, but higher than the $10.314 billion the past month.

The biggest drop was also seen in electronic products, which fell by $590.51 million to $2.194 billion, followed by mineral fuels, down by $99.34 million to $1.792 billion, and other food and live animals, by $71.48 million to $409.09 million.

Declines were also seen in the imports of animal and vegetable oils and fats, which lost $62.47 million to $109.73 million, and metalliferous ores and metal scraps, by $47.18 million to $219.08 million.

Raw materials and intermediate goods accounted for the largest share of imports for the month with $3.82 billion or 36.2%, backed by capital goods with $2.86 billion or 27.2%, and consumer goods with $2.02 billion or 19.2%.

China was the top source of imports, with $2.60 billion or 24.7%. Completing the top five sources are Indonesia with $917.53 million, Japan with $834.89 million, South Korea with $785.81 million, and the United States of America with $711.77 million.

Year-to-date exports stood at $60.91 billion, while imports amounted to $104.97 billion. —KBK, GMA Integrated News