The country registered a trade deficit of $5.74 billion at the start of the year, which was 27.2 percent higher than the $4.51-billion deficit in January 2022.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported Tuesday that the country incurred a deficit in January this year as imports exceeded exports at $10.97 billion and $5.23 billion, respectively.
Total external trade in January 2023 stood at $16.2 billion, easing by 2.4 percent from $16.6 billion in the same period last year.
Compared to December 2022, the country’s total trade with the rest of the world slightly increased from $16.1 billion.
Export revenue in January 2023 declined by 13.5 percent, a reversal from the 8.9 percent growth in January 2022 even when the government implemented quarantine restrictions due to the Omicron variant.
The PSA attributed the decline in exports to six out of 10 major commodity groups that registered double-digit decrements in January 2023.
These are coconut oil (-39.1 percent), cathodes and sections of cathodes, of refined copper (-39 percent), metal components (-19.8 percent), electronic products (-19.2 percent), chemicals (-14.6 percent) and other manufactured goods (-11.9 percent).
Electronic goods remained the country’s top exported product at the start of the year, with $2.83 billion worth of export sales or 54.2 percent of the total export revenues during the period.
Top export destinations in January this year were Japan, the United States, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
On the other hand, the country’s inbound shipments grew in January this year by 3.9 percent, a slowdown in imports expansion from a growth of 25.3 percent in January 2022.
Seven out of 10 major commodity groups increased their imports during the period.
Sectors with the highest increase in imports in January this year include metalliferous ores and metal scrap surging by 333.5 percent, followed by mineral fuels, lubricants and related material, with 70.6 percent increase; and telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery, with 15.2 percent increase.
Top import sources for the Philippines in January this year were China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, and the US, respectively.
CURRENTPH NEWS SERVICE