External trade down 3 percent in May as imports fall


Posted at Jul 10 2019 04:21 PM | Updated as of Jul 10 2019 04:33 PM

MANILA - Philippine external trade fell 3 percent in May compared to the same month last year as the expansion in exports failed to make up for shrinking imports, the Philippine Statistics Authority said on Wednesday.

The country’s total external trade in goods in May 2019 amounted to $15.58 billion, the PSA said, down from $16.06 billion in 2018.

Exports increased by 1 percent to $6.16 billion while imports decreased by 5.4 percent to $9.43 billion.

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"By commodity group, export of electronic products continued to be the country’s top export with total earnings of $3.45 billion," the PSA said.

Electronics accounted for 56.1 percent of the total exports’ revenue in May 2019, and was up 6.2 percent from May 2018.

The country's imports bill fell due to declines in 6 of the top 10 major import commodities: iron and steel; transport equipment; mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials; plastic in primary and non-primary forms; industrial machinery and equipment; and other food and live animals.

The United States remained the Philippines' biggest export market as it bought $1.1 billion worth of goods, up 9.8 percent from May 2018.

China was the country’s biggest supplier of imported goods. Imports from China expanded to $2.145 billion from $2.015 billion in May 2018.

The country’s balance of trade in goods decreased to $3.28 billion deficit in May 2019, from $3.88 billion deficit in May 2018, the PSA said.