MANILA - The Philippines posted a trade deficit of nearly $3.58 billion in August as a surge in imports overtook a surge in exports, the state statistics bureau said on Tuesday.
The country’s total external trade in goods in August, amounted to $16.51 billion, up 25.3 percent from the same month last year when trade contracted 15.6 percent amid the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Imports however reached $10.04 billion, growing 30.8 percent, while exports reached $6.47 billion, up 17.6 percent.
This was in contrast to the -12.7 percent and -17.5 percent growth rates in exports and imports respectively, posted in August 2020.
China was again the Philippines’ top trading partner for the month. But the Philippines again posted a huge trade deficit with the Asian giant.
Exports to China topped shipments to other countries, reaching $1.05 billion, representing 16.2 percent of exports.
The United States, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, rounded up the top 5 destinations for Philippine exports.
Imports from China meanwhile reached $2.36 billion, representing 23.5 percent of the Philippines’ total import bill.
This means that the Philippines has a $1.31 billion trade deficit with China in August.
Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the US rounded up the top 5 of the country’s suppliers of imports.
Electronic products were the Philippines’ top exports as well as imports.