Philippine trade deficit widens to $3.29 billion in July; China is top export, import market

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 09 2021 12:00 PM | Updated as of Sep 09 2021 01:19 PM

Container vans stacked together are seen inside the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) compound in Manila. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News file photo
Container vans stacked together are seen inside the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) compound in Manila. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News file photo

MANILA - The Philippines' external trade in goods grew by almost a fifth in July, but the trade deficit also widened by more than half, the state statistics bureau said on Thursday.

China was the country’s top export market as well as source of imports for the month, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed.

The country’s total external trade in goods in July amounted to $16.13 billion, up 19.2 percent compared to the same month last year.

However, the country’s trade deficit also widened by 54.1 percent to $3.29 billion. 

“Of the total external trade in July 2021, 60.2 percent were imported goods, while the rest were exported goods,” the PSA said. 

The country’s total export sales grew 12.7 percent year-on-year to $6.42 billion in July.

Electronic products topped exports with total earnings of $3.69 billion, accounting for 57.4 percent of the total exports during the period. 

"Exports to China made up the highest export value amounting to $1.04 billion or a share of 16.1 percent to the total exports during the month,” the PSA said.

The United States was the second-largest export market, followed by Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore.

Meanwhile, total imported goods in July amounted to $9.71 billion, up 24 percent compared to the same month in 2020. 

Electronic products also topped the list of imports with a value of $2.73 billion. 

China was also the country’s biggest supplier of imported goods valued at $2.15 billion or 22.1 percent of the total imports in July 2021.

This means that the Philippines’ trade deficit with China was $1.11 billion for July this year.

Completing the top five major import trading partners were Japan, Korea, Indonesia, and Singapore.

Michael Ricafort, chief economist at RCBC, said the country's trade performance is among the bright spots in the economy, with exports nearing a record high. 

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