By Mark T. Amoguis, Researcher
THE TRADE DEFICIT in agriculture commodities narrowed in the third quarter, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Friday.
Data from the PSA showed the country shipped out $1.605 billion worth of agricultural goods in the third quarter of the year, a 14.34% increase from the $1.403 billion in the same three months last year.
Meanwhile, the country shipped out $2.845 billion worth of farm products in the July-September period, a 2.49% uptick from $2.776 billion last year.
As a result, the agriculture trade deficit was at $1.240 billion in the three months ended September, down 9.63% from the $1.372-billion shortfall a year ago.
Despite the deficit, agriculture accounted for 11.41% or $4.450 billion of the country’s total trade worth $39.006 billion in the third quarter.
Among its major trading partners, the Philippines incurred its biggest agriculture shortfall with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at $747.61 million, followed by the United States of America ($270.77 million) and Australia ($163.92 million).
On the other hand, trade in farm goods with Japan and the European Union were in surplus by $170.68 million and $27.77 million, respectively.
Animal or vegetable fats and oils were the top agricultural export at $433.77 million or 27.03% of the total goods shipped.
Other top farm goods exports were edible fruit and nuts ($366.13 million); preparations of vegetables, fruit, nuts or other parts of plants ($197.43 million); fish and crustaceans ($135.90 million); preparations of meat, of fish or of crustaceans ($111.77 million); and tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes ($82.21 million).
The country’s top farm import, meanwhile, were cereals at $376.03 million, followed by miscellaneous edible preparations ($351.78 million); meat and edible meat offal ($321.67 million); residues and waste from the food industries ($301.25 million); and animal or vegetable fats and oils ($283.32 million).