Philippines Trade Balance May 2021


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.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see exports rising 8.5% in 2021, while imports are seen increasing 18.4%. In 2022, exports and imports are seen rising 9.0% and 16.8% respectively.


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Philippines Trade Balance Chart

Philippines Exports yoy May 2021

Note: Year-on-year and annual average variation of exports in %.
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority.

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