WITH imports posting a bigger decline in the first semester of the year, the country’s total external trade improved under the revised estimates made by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Based on the International Merchandise Trade Statistics of the Philippines for the first semester, PSA said the country’s total external trade contracted 24.5 percent in the first semester of 2020, better than the initial estimate of a contraction of 24.7 percent released in August.
The country’s trade deficit also dropped at a faster rate of 47.7 percent as imports posted a higher contraction of 28.8 percent in the January-to-June period.
“The country’s total external trade in goods plunged to $67.64 billion in the first semester of 2020, from $89.58 billion in the same semester of 2019. This indicates an annual decline of 24.5 percent in the first semester of 2020 which was faster than the annual decline of 1.3 percent in the second semester of 2019,” PSA said.
“In the first semester of the previous year, total trade grew by 1.8 percent. Of the total external trade, 57.9 percent were imported goods and the rest were exported goods,” it added.
The country’s trade deficit also contracted 47.7 percent, better than the 48.1 percent estimated in August. The Balance of trade in goods (BOT-G), the difference between the value of exports and imports, reached 10.67 billion in the first semester based on the latest estimates.
Exports in the first semester, based on the latest estimates of PSA, contracted 17.6 percent, better than the initial estimate of 17.8 percent.
The country’s total export sales in the first semester of 2020 declined to $28.48 billion from the $34.58 billion total export sales in the same semester of 2019.
Imports in the January-to-June period, meanwhile, contracted 28.8 percent. This was an improvement from the decline of 29 percent initially estimated by the PSA.
The total imported goods in the first semester of 2020 declined to $39.16 billion from the $55 billion posted in the same period last year.
Japan export market
Meanwhile, in the first semester of 2020, Japan was the country’s top export market with $4.58 billion, or a share of 16.1 percent of total export earnings in the first semester of 2020.
Completing the top 5 major export trading partners with their export values and percent shares in total exports were Hong Kong with $4.29 billion or 15.1 percent of the total; and the United States of America (USA) with $4.02 billion or 14.1 percent of the total.
Other top markets were the People’s Republic of China with $3.94 billion or 13.8 percent of total export earnings in the first semester; and Singapore with $1.75 billion or 6.2 percent of total.
In terms of imports, the PROC was the country’s biggest supplier of goods valued at $8.22 billion, or 21 percent of the total imports in the first semester of 2020.
The country’s other top import sources were Japan which accounted for $3.67 billion or 9.4 percent of total import receipts, and the Republic of Korea with $3.33 billion or 8.5 percent of the total.
This was followed by the US which accounted for $3.14 billion or 8 percent of total import receipts, and Singapore with $2.49 billion or 6.4 percent of total imports.