Philippines: Weaker demand causes exports to fall in November
January 16, 2017
Philippine exports dropped in November after two consecutive months of growth, mainly due to weaker demand from the U.S. and Japan. Exports contracted an annual 7.5%, which strongly contrasted October’s 3.7% decrease—the worst in four months. November’s reversal reflected a broad-based contraction in exports, except for agro-based products.
Exports of manufactured products swung from 1.9% growth in October to a sharp 10.6% contraction in November. Exports of electronic products—classified as a sub-category of manufactured goods—deteriorated, dropping 7.9% on an annual basis, which contrasted the 4.7% growth seen in the previous month. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, electronic products account for the largest share of total export revenues. The only positive news came from the exports of agro-based products, which grew 28.6%, though this was still a deceleration from October’s impressive 30.6% expansion.
In November, imports grew solidly, accelerating substantially from October’s robust growth, recording a 19.7% annual expansion (October: +5.9% yoy). The trade balance in November recorded a USD 2.6 billion deficit, down from the USD 2.2 billion shortfall registered in the previous month (November 2015: USD 1.0 billion deficit).