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Exports, imports down in November 2019

/ 05:26 AM January 11, 2020

Philippine exports and imports contracted in November last year.

Latest preliminary Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data showed that sales of Philippine-made goods abroad declined by 0.7 percent year-on-year to $5.6 billion last November, reversing the slightgain in October.

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Imports, meanwhile, continued to slide for the eighth straight month as the value of products from overseas fell 8 percent year-on-year to $8.9 billion in November.

As both merchandise exports and imports declined, total external trade that month decreased by 5.3 percent year-on-year to $14.5 billion.

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Since imports still exceeded exports, the balance of trade in goods remained at a deficit last November, but at a narrower $3.3 billion compared to $4.1 billion a year ago.

In a statement, the state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) blamed the decline in November exports to “lower shipments of agro-based products, petroleum products and the flat growth in manufactures.”

The drop in imports, meanwhile, was due to lower inward shipments for unprocessed and semi-processed raw materials, including manufactured goods, Neda said.

“Global trade growth is poised to a slow recovery despite the easing of trade tensions between China and the US. The heightened conflict between the US and Iran and its impact on oil prices could result in increased cost of production for domestic- as well as export-oriented firms,”

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and Neda chief Ernesto M. Pernia said, noting that the bulk of the Philippines’ oil imports still came from the Middle East.

“However, looking at the structure and pattern of imports of crude petroleum to the Philippines indicate that the country has diversified its source of crude petroleum in recent years such that the level of vulnerability to supply shocks has been slightly reduced,”

Pernia said, citing increasing importation from Malaysia, Russia and South Korea. —Ben O. de Vera

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