Philippines: Merchandise exports grow at softer pace in May
July 9, 2021
Merchandise exports grew a solid 29.8% in annual terms in May, but eased from April’s 72.1% jump. May’s slowdown was largely attributed to a softer growth in electronic product shipments, as well as a more moderate expansion in exports of metal components. Meanwhile, shipments of machinery and transport equipment swung back to contraction.
Similarly, merchandise imports rose at a softer pace of 47.7% year-on-year in May, well below April’s 140.9% stellar growth. May’s deterioration was chiefly due to moderating imports of transport, as well as industrial and machinery equipment. That said, imports of iron and steel picked up pace.
As a result, the merchandise trade balance deteriorated slightly from the previous month, recording a USD 2.8 billion shortfall in May (April 2021: USD 2.7 billion deficit; April 2020: USD 1.3 billion deficit). Accordingly, the trend deteriorated, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 28.5 billion deficit in May, compared to the USD 27.1 billion deficit in April.