The country’s trade deficit widened to USD3.78 billion in November 2017 as imports continue to outpace exports due to higher shipments of raw materials and intermediate goods and capital goods, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Wednesday.
The PSA said imports posted a hefty growth of 18.5 percent as all commodity groups posted positive growth rates, while exports grew by 1.6 percent, its slowest since November 2016, due to lower agro-based products and manufactures.
The country’s total trade grew by 11.8 percent to USD13.71 billion from USD12.26 billion registered in November 2016.
Electronic products, comprising 58.1 percent of the total exports revenue in November, booked total sales of USD2.88 billion from USD2.56 billion last year.
Inbound shipments of electronic products accounted for 27.7 percent of the total import bill valued at USD2.42 billion from USD1.96 billion.
By major types of goods, imports of raw materials and intermediate goods comprised for the largest share of 37.9 percent to total imports. It grew by 18.9 percent to USD3.31 billion from USD2.78 billion.
Imports of capital goods also went up by 16.1 percent from USD2.48 billion to USD2.88 billion.
By economic bloc, East Asia (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan) was the biggest supplier of the country’s imports in November 2017 comprising 49.2 percent of the total imports valued at USD4.30 billion.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) underscored the need to continuously improve export competitiveness and identify emerging markets for exports to help sustain merchandise trade growth.