The country’s trade deficit in November 2022 declined to its lowest level in two years, according to data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
The latest PSA data released on Tuesday indicated that the trade deficit declined 21.9 percent in November 2022, the lowest since the 41.3 percent recorded in November 2020.
Exports grew 13.2 percent in November 2022, the second consecutive month of double-digit growth while imports contracted 1.9 percent, also the lowest since November 2020.
“The balance of trade in goods [BoT-G] is the difference between the value of export and import. The BoT-G in November 2022 amounted to $3.68 billion, indicating a trade deficit with an annual decrease of 21.9 percent,” PSA said.
“The trade deficit in the previous month recorded an annual decline of 13.4 percent, while in November 2021, it posted an annual increase of 119.7 percent,” it added.
In January to November 2022, the PSA data showed the country’s trade deficit reached $53.69 billion. This was 44.7 percent higher than the deficit of $37.11 billion in January to November 2021.
The value of the country’s total exports reached $7.1 billion in November 2022, 13.2 percent higher than the $6.27 billion posted in November 2021.
Export earnings in January to November reached $73.169 billion, 7 percent higher than the previous year’s $68.37 billion.
Of the top 10 major commodity groups, 5 recorded annual increases in terms of value, including other mineral products, which jumped by 51 percent.
These products included nickel oxide sinters and other intermediate products of nickel metallurgy and nickel ores.
The data also showed ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships grew by 23.1 percent; electronic products, 22.9 percent; cathodes and sections of cathode, of refined copper, 8.7 percent; and other manufactured goods, 4.8 percent.
Meanwhile, the country’s imports amounted to $10.78 billion in November 2022, a 1.9 percent contraction from the $10.98 billion recorded in November 2021.
In January to November 2022, imports reached $126.86 billion, 20.3 percent higher than the previous year’s $105.49 billion.
For November, the decline in imports was mainly due to the decreases in the values of four of the top 10 major commodity groups, with electronic products having the fastest annual decline of 10.1 percent.
This was followed by transport equipment, which contracted by 8.8 percent annually; cereals and cereal preparations by 5.9 percent; and industrial machinery and equipment by 3.5 percent.
In the 11-month period of 2022, imports that posted the fastest growth were corn which surged 203.6 percent; Office and EDP Machines, 153.7 percent; Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials, 82.1 percent; Metalliferous Ores and Metal Scrap, 53.7 percent; Fertilizers (Manufactured) 51 percent; and chemical compounds, 47.3 percent.
In November, the country’s top export destination was Hong Kong where $1.16 billion or 16.3 percent to the total exports were shipped.
Other countries in the top 5 major export trading partners were the United States with 1.14 billion or 16 percent of the total and Japan which accounted for $938.30 million or 13.2 percent.
The list also included the People’s Republic of China with $876.27 million or 12.3 percent of the total and Singapore, $369.25 million or 5.2 percent of total shipments.
For imports, the People’s Republic of China was the country’s biggest supplier of imported goods valued at $2.6 billion or 24.1 percent of the total in November 2022.
Other top import sources are Indonesia, which accounted for $1.14 billion of imports or 10.6 percent of the total; Japan, $927.5 million or 8.6 percent; US, $735.4 million or 6.8 percent; and the Republic of Korea, $691.74 million or 6.4 percent.