MANILA - Philippine merchandise imports grew a hefty 140.9 percent in April from a year earlier, while exports jumped 72.1 percent, both rising at their fastest pace in more than a decade, government data showed on Wednesday.
Imports totaled $8.45 billion, while exports reached $5.72 billion, yielding a trade deficit of $2.73 billion. This marked the tenth straight month that the gap has exceeded $2 billion, Philippine Statistics Authority data showed.
Total export earnings from January to April amounted to $23.37 billion, a 19 percent increase from the export value earned from the same period in 2020, the PSA said.
The cumulative import value from January to April 2021 amounted to $34.46 billion, higher by 21.9 percent compared to the same period IN 2020, the statistics agency added.
Electronic products remained the country’s top export in April with total earnings of $3.22 billion, accounting for 56.4 percent of the total exports for the period.
Electronics also made up the bulk of imports, in terms of value, accounting for $2.41 billion or a share of 28.5 percent of total imports in April.
All the top 10 major commodity groups recorded annual increases in April, led by ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircraft, and ships, which grew 1,237.6 percent. Metal components exports meanwhile grew 345.2 percent, and miscellaneous manufactured articles grew 256.1 percent.
Imports of transport equipment meanwhile grew 547.4 percent during the month, while mineral fuels, lubricants, and related materials grew 387.9 percent; and other food and live animals 283.1 percent.
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic led to a sharp decline in the country's external trade.
The country has also cut its export targets this year because of the continuing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- With a report from Reuters