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Exports down, imports up in February

Exports down, imports up in February

MANILA, Philippines: Merchandise exports declined for the third straight month while imports posted growth for two consecutive months in February, further widening the trade-in-goods deficit to $6.708 billion at the end of the first two months.

Preliminary Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data released Thursday showed that sales of Philippine-made goods overseas fell 3.9 percent year-on-year to $10.456 billion as of February, even as the value of imported products that entered the country in the first two months rose 3.1 percent to $17.165 billion.

As such, the balance of trade in goods remained at a deficit at end-February, 16.4 percent bigger than the $5.763-billion deficit posted a year ago.

In February alone, exports declined 0.9 percent year-on-year to $5.177 billion, even as it was the slowest drop since December last year.

While shipments of fresh bananas, cathodes, manufactured articles, electronic products, and chemical increased last February, exports of metal components, gold, machinery and transport equipment, other manufactured goods, and ignition wiring sets used in vehicles, aircraft, and ships recorded decline.

The United States, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Germany, South Korea, the Netherlands, and Taiwan were the top 10 destinations of Philippine exports that month.

Meanwhile, imports grew 2.6 percent to $7.966 billion in February, accounting for three-fifths of total trade that month, due to the influx of transport equipment, cereals, mineral fuels and lubricants, food and live animals, and telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery sourced from abroad.

One-fifth of the imported products last February came from China, followed by Japan, South Korea, Thailand, US, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam – the country’s top 10 sources of imports.

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