Philippines: Exports contract at softer pace in May
July 12, 2016
The Philippines’ exports declined for the fourteenth consecutive month in May due to weak global demand. Exports dropped an annual 3.8%, which followed April’s slightly deeper 4.1% decrease. May’s softer decrease reflected robust advancements in both machinery and transport equipment (May: +29.3% year-on-year; April: -0.9% yoy) and woodcrafts and furniture (May: 49.7% yoy; April: +21.9% yoy). Nevertheless, exports of agro-based products recorded a 29.4% contraction, which was notably sharper than April’s 11.1% drop. Moreover, exports of manufactured goods swung from a mild expansion to a mild contraction (May: -0.5% yoy; April: +2.1% yoy). Exports of electronic products—classified as a sub-category of manufactured goods—also dropped, declining 4.0% on an annual basis, which contrasted the 1.9% increase seen in the previous month. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, electronic products account for the largest share of total export revenues.
In April (the latest month for which data are available), imports accelerated notably from March’s already robust growth, recording an impressive 29.2% annual expansion (March: +11.7% yoy). The trade balance deteriorated to a USD 2.3 billion deficit in April (April 2015: USD 619 million deficit).