Philippines: Exports growth weakens notably in November
January 15, 2018
Philippine exports continued to expand in November, albeit at a much slower pace than in October, mainly on the back of surging demand from Hong Kong and stronger overseas orders Singapore, more than offsetting much weaker demand from Japan, the U.S. and China. Exports expanded by an annual rate of 1.6%, which represented a notable deceleration from October’s 7.1% increase. November’s result reflected an expansion in exports of mineral products and electronic products.
Exports of manufactured products dropped 1.5% in November compared to the same month of 2016, contrasting the 2.9% expansion recorded in October. Exports of electronic products, which are classified as a sub-category of manufactured goods and account for the largest share of total export revenues, rose 12.7% in November, slightly below October’s 13.8% expansion. Lastly, exports of agro-based products swung from a 5.4% growth in October to a sharp 28.5% contraction in November. In terms of specific products, the expansion in exports was strongly driven by robust increases in sales of cathodes and sections of cathodes, of refined copper, gold and electronic equipment and parts.
In November, imports increased 18.5% year-on-year, above the already robust 13.1% expansion recorded in the previous month. The trade balance in November consequently deteriorated and recorded a USD 3.8 billion deficit, widening both from October’s USD 2.8 billion deficit and the USD 2.5 billion deficit recorded in November 2016.
Philippines Trade Balance Forecast
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see exports expanding 7.5% in 2018 and 6.7% in 2019. Panelists expect a trade deficit of USD 23.0 billion in 2018 and see it widening to USD 24.2 billion in 2019.