The trade deficit narrowed as imports fell 1.9%.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority on Tuesday showed that the country’s trade deficit narrowed in November as imports contracted.

At $3.68 billion, the shortfall was an improvement from last year’s $4.71 billion. However, it was higher than the $3.31 billion recorded in October.

Exports increased 13.2 percent year-on-year to $7.10 billion, faster than the 20.3 percent and 6.6 percent increases in the previous month and year, respectively.

Meanwhile, import revenue fell 1.9 percent to $10.78 billion. PSA noted that it “grew at a faster rate in October 2022 at 7.7 percent and in November 2021 at 36.8 percent.”

Foreign trade in goods totaled $17.88 billion in November, up 3.6 percent from the previous year’s $17.25 billion but down from October’s $18.73 billion.

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“In October 2022, its annual increase was 12.5 percent faster while in November 2021 it expanded at a faster rate of 24.1 percent,” PSA said.

The largest part, or 60.3 percent, of total foreign trade in November consisted of imported goods.

The decline for the month was attributed to contractions in four of the 10 largest commodity groups: electronic products (-10.1 percent), transportation equipment (-8.8 percent), cereals and cereal preparations (-5.9 percent) and industrial machinery and equipment (-3.5 percent). ).

Imports of electronic products worth $2.64 billion accounted for 24.5 percent of November’s total, followed by mineral fuels, lubricants and related metals ($1.67 billion, or 15.5 percent).

To date, imports have grown by 20.3% to $126.86 billion.

Meanwhile, export growth was led by other metal products (51 percent), ignition and other wire assemblies (23.1 percent), electronic products (22.9 percent), refined copper cathodes and cathode sections (8.7 percent) and other manufactured goods (4.8 percent). percent). percent).

In terms of value, electronic products remained the country’s largest export with revenues of $4.57 billion, accounting for 64.3 percent of total exports during the period.

Other manufactured goods followed at $337.78 million, or 4.8 percent.

Total exports as of the end of November amounted to 73.17 billion pesos, up 7.0 percent compared to the same period in 2021.

The trade deficit from January to November was $53.69 billion, higher than the $37.11 billion recorded in the previous year.

Hong Kong was the largest buyer, with $1.16 billion worth of Philippine goods accounting for 16.3 percent of total exports.

Among the top five are the United States ($1.14 billion, or 16 percent), Japan ($938.30 million, or 13.2 percent), China ($876.27 million, or 12.3 percent), and Singapore ($369.25 million, or 5.2 percent).

Meanwhile, China was the country’s largest supplier, accounting for $2.60 billion or 24.1 percent of total imports. It is followed by Indonesia ($1.14 billion or 10.6 percent), Japan ($927.50 million or 8.6 percent), the United States ($735.40 million or 6.8 percent), and South Korea ($691.74 million or 6.4 percent).

The narrow trade deficit “may have fundamentally helped stabilize and even improve the peso’s exchange rate,” said Michael Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., who sought comment.

“[The] He added that the trade deficit and imports, due to the continued inflation of high global commodity prices, may decline further in the coming months.

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