Philippine trade

PH exports unexpectedly rise in November 2020, imports stay in red

Ralf Rivas

ECONOMY. An x-ray machine checking a container van in Manila.

Rappler file photo

The United States contributed the highest export value during the month, followed by China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore

Philippine exports in rose unexpectedly in November, while imports fell for the 19th consecutive month, the latest figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed.

Exports rose 3% to $5.79 billion, mainly due to the 4.6% increase in electronics outward shipments.

ING Bank Manila senior economist Nicholas Mapa noted that the pickup in exports may be due to the strong outbound shipments to China and Taiwan, after both countries bounced back from the economic challenges due to the pandemic.

The United States contributed the highest export value during the month, followed by China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Consumer goods imports, however, posted a 24.5% dip amid business closures and layoffs.

Meanwhile, imports dropped by 18.9% to $7.52 billion, as businesses imported less items needed for construction.

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“The sharp pullback in economic activity, in particular the plunge in capital formation, is mirrored in the decline of both durable equipment/machinery and raw materials used for construction,” Mapa said.

The trade deficit in November stood at -$1.73 billion, representing an annual decline of -52.6%, slower than the -50% in October and the -10.4% in November 2019.

“The current trend of modest gains in exports coupled with weakness in imports will likely continue for at least the first half of the year with the recent spike in COVID-19 cases likely to sap momentum from the recent pickup in global trade, leading to softer export growth,” Mapa said. – Rappler.com

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author

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.