Export sales down 50.8%; imports plunge 65.3% in April

THE country’s total merchandise trade in April 2020, which amounted to US$6.07 billion, declined at a faster rate of 59.8 percent than its previous month’s annual drop of 25.6 percent, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.

The country’s balance of trade in goods in April 2020 drastically declined to $0.50 billion or an annual drop of 86.9 percent.

Balance of trade is the difference in value between a country’s imports and exports.

The country’s total export sales in April 2020 amounted to US$2.78 billion, down by 50.8 percent from the $5.65 billion total exports generated in April 2019.

This contraction was the highest recorded annual decrease in export sales since January 2009. In the previous month, the annual decline was slower at 24.7 percent while in April 2019, exports grew at an annual rate of 3.1 percent.

Electronic products continued to be the country’s top export with total earnings of $1.60 billion. This amount, which accounted for 57.3 percent of the total exports in April 2020, decreased annually by 48.6 percent, from $3.11 billion in April 2019.

Top 5 export countries

By major trading partner, exports to Hong Kong comprised the highest value, amounting to $582.07 million, down 17.5 percent from $705.54 million in April 2019.

Completing the top five major export trading partners were China with export value of $385.28 million, Japan ($363.40 million), USA ($316.54 million) and Singapore ($219.73 million).

Meanwhile, total imported goods in April 2020, which amounted to $3.28 billion, plunged at an annual rate of 65.3 percent.

This was the highest annual decline recorded since April 2009. In the previous month, the decline was slower at 26.2 percent while in April 2019, imports grew by 2.9 percent annually.

The decline in importation was due to the decreases in major import commodities led by transport equipment (-89.8 percent) and mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (-87.4 percent).

Imports of raw materials and intermediate goods accounted for the largest share of $1.47 billion (44.7 percent) in April 2020. Importation of this type of goods, however, dropped 58 percent from $3.49 billion in April 2019.

Imports of capital goods, ranked second with a share of $1.23 billion, followed by consumer goods with a share of $0.39 billion.

The import value for personal protective equipment and medical supplies in April 2020 amounted to $20.9 million, indicating an annual increase of 37.9 percent.

Top 5 import countries

China was the country’s biggest supplier of imported goods with a 22.3 percent share of the total imports in April 2020. Import value from this country amounted to $732.47 million during the month, from $2,251.53 million in April 2019.

The other four major import trading partners were Japan with import value of $357.55 million, Korea ($299.54 million), USA ($286.13 million) and Taiwan ($269.85 million). (KOC)