PH trimmed farm trade deficit in Q4 | Inquirer Business

PH trimmed farm trade deficit in Q4

MANILA The Philippines’ agricultural trade deficit dipped in the fourth quarter of 2023 by 6.6 percent to $3.02 billion from $3.2 billion in the same period a year ago, amid improved harvest during the period.

Data at the Philippine Statistics Authority show that farm exports grew by 5 percent year-on-year to $1.63 billion from $1.55 billion.

At the same time, agricultural imports dropped by 2.9 percent to $4.64 billion from $4.78 billion.


Overall, agricultural trade for the three months to December totaled at $6.27 billion, a slight increase of 0.9 percent from $6.33 billion.


Michael Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., said favorable weather conditions in 2023 resulted in the country relying more on domestic production and less on importation to meet its increasing demand for agricultural commodities.

READ: Agri output up 0.7% in Q4 of 2023

“Better weather conditions since the latter part of 2023 with relatively lower number of typhoons that entered the country in 2023 could have led to higher local agricultural output, in view of reduced storm damage with unusually lower number of typhoons in recent months,” Ricafort said.

“For the coming months, the risk of El Niño-(caused dry conditions) up to [the second quarter of] 2024 could reduce agricultural production which, in turn, could reduce agricultural exports (and) also lead to more agricultural imports especially rice,” he added.

READ: El Niño feared stifling PH agri output in 2024

The PSA said edible fruit and nuts and peels of citrus fruit melons accounted for 30.8 percent, or $501.12 million worth, of the total agricultural exports.


The Philippines shipped a total of $204.31 million worth of farm commodities to member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), mostly tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes.

Malaysia retained the spot as the country’s top trading partner among Asean nations with a share of $52.02 million or 25.5 percent.

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TAGS: Agriculture, Exports, trade deficit

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