Goods trade up 10.5% amid large deficit with top partner China; electronics still top export

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port of manila

INTERNATIONAL trade in goods in 2018 totaled $182.15, up 10.5%, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said, with China, the top trading partner, accounting for 16.9% of total trade while enjoying a large surplus vis-a-vis the Philippines with exports of $22.01 billion and imports of $8.82 billion.

Electronics remained the top Philippine export, generating overseas shipments worth $38.18 billion, up 4.5% from a year earlier and accounting 55.1% of the total, the PSA said in its preliminary report on international trade for 2018. It added that the top 10 export commodities accounted for 80.7% of export receipts.

Other top exports were “other” manufactured goods, with a 6.3% share worth $4.3 billion, and machinery and transport equipment with a 4.8% share valued at $3.31 billion.

In addition, machinery and transport equipment exports declined 11.6% from a year earlier.

China accounted for $4.96 billion of the Philippines’ electronic products exports, or 56.3%.

Japan, the second-largest trading partner in 2018, accounted for 11.6% of total trade in 2018 or $21.14 billion. The trade balance with Japan is slightly in Japan’s favor, with the country taking in Philippine exports of $10.32 billion while shipping $10.82 billion worth of goods the other way.

The top export to Japan was electronic products worth $3.01 billion, followed by wiring sets for vehicles valued at $962.36 million.

The United States was the third-largest trading partner with a share of 10.3% or $18.70 billion. The trade balance favors the Philippines with exports to that country valued at $10.64 billion compared with imports worth $8.06 billion. The top export to the US was electronic products worth $5.13 billion, accounting for 48.2% of the total. The top US export to the Philippines was also electronics worth $2.55 billion or 31.6% of the total, followed animal feed (excluding unmilled cereals) valued at $1.01 billion, or a share of 12.6%.

Total trade with ASEAN amounted to $39.64 billion, with the Philippines incurring a trade deficit with exports worth $11.18 billion and imports valued at $28.46 billion. ASEAN as a bloc accounts for 21.8% of total trade.

Of other major economic blocs, the European Union accounted for $17.49 billion, or 9.6% of total trade. The Philippines enjoyed a surplus of $320.71 million vis-a-vis the EU on exports of $8.91 billion and imports of $8.59 billion.

Trade with APEC was $151.53 billion, with the Philippines also suffering from a deficit estimated at $36.52 billion, on exports of $57.50 billion and imports of $94.02 billion.