Jun 252013

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines trade deficit in April 2013 widened to $1.020 billion from $153 million in the same period last year, the National Statistics Office (NSO) reported yesterday.

The government statistics agency reported that total external trade in goods for April 2013 reached $9.263 billion, down 1.7 percent from $9.423 billion recorded in the same month in 2012.

This was due to an 11.1 percent slowdown in exports to $4.121 billion in April 2013 from 4.635 billion in the same period last year.

Merchandise imports, on the other hand, rose 7.4 percent to $5.141 billion in April 2013 from $4.788 billion in April 2012. 

The growth in merchandise imports in April was fueled by increased importation of transport equipment.

Imports of transport equipment with an 11.5 percent share to total imports in April was valued at $593.61 million, 148.6 percent higher than the previous year’s level of $238.78 million and the highest annual growth rate among the top ten imports.

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“Robust investments in the power and transportation sectors drove overseas purchases to a solid recovery in April,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan in a separate statement.

Imports of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials was the top imported commodity in April 2013 with payments amounting to $1.283 billion.

It went up 21.4 percent over last year’s figure of $1.057 billion.  On a monthly basis, it grew 23.3 percent from the $1.040 billion recorded in March 2013. Volume of shipment also went up by 61.2 percent compared to last year of same period.

Imports of electronic products posted a negative annual growth rate of 19 percent from reported value of $1.311 billion in April 2012 to $1.062 billion in April 2013.

Inward shipments of industrial machinery and equipment amounted to $280.96 million, up 9.9 percent compared to $255.72 million in the same period last year.

Imports of other food and live animals reached $156.80 million, up 14.8 percent from its year ago level of $136.59 million.

Imports of iron and steel valued at $125.76 million; organic and inorganic chemicals amounting to $117.52 million; plastics in primary and non – primary forms, $116.53 million; medicinal and pharmaceutical products, $103.24 million; and telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery, $97.25 million.

The United States was the country’s biggest source of imports for April 2013 valued at $715.85 million up from $568.42 million in April 2012.  The increase was attributed to the purchase of an aircraft. Exports to US amounted to $608.11 million, yielding a two-way trade value of $1.324 billion and a trade deficit for PH of $107.73 million.

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