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PH foreign trade doubles in April

The country’s international trade doubled in April after both imports and exports jumped at their fastest pace in more than a decade, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported.

Preliminary data from the PSA showed on Wednesday, June 8, that the country’s total external trade in goods accelerated by 107.5 percent in April this year to $14.16 billion from $6.83 billion in the same month in 2020.

The April performance was faster than the 26.5 percent annual growth registered last March and a reversal of the 54.8 percent contraction seen in the same month last year.

According to the PSA, 59.7 percent of the total external trade were imported goods, while the rest were exported products.

Exports totaled $5.71 billion during the month, up 72 percent year-on-year from $3.51 billion in April last year.

All the top 10 major exports recorded annual increases in terms of value in April. By commodity group, electric products continued to be the country’s top export.

People’s Republic of China was the top buyer of Philippine goods valued at $953.2 million, followed by United States with $857.4 million, Japan with $819.3 million, Hong Kong with $735 million and Singapore with $315.7 million.

At end-April, total exports reached $23.4 billion, higher by 19 percent compared with the same period in 2020.

Total imports, on the other hand, skyrocketed by 141 percent to $8.45 billion from $3.51 billion a year earlier.

“The annual increment of imported goods in April 2021 was due to the increase in all of the top 10 major community groups which was led by transport equipment (547.4 percent),” PSA said.

Most of the imported goods were electronic products with an import value of $2.41 billion, followed by mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials valued at $841.9 million, and transport equipment at $614.7 million.

In April, China was the country’s biggest supplier of imported goods valued at $2.16 billion, followed by Japan with $811.84 million, United States with $602.39 million, Indonesia with $596.8 million and South Korea with $542.43 million.

Import receipts in the first four-months of the year amounted to $34.46 million, an increase of 22 percent compared with $28.27 billion in the same period in 2020.

However, the Philippines recorded a trade deficit of $2.73 billion during the month, significantly higher from only $187.1 million in April last year.

The April trade balance marked the tenth straight month that the deficit exceeded $2 billion.

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