The Philippine Star
Agri trade deficit widens in Q1
The deficit in the external trade of Philippine agricultural products widened by 41 percent to $1.83 billion in the first quarter as imports rose and exports declined, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported over the weekend.
This compares with $1.30 billion in the same period in 2017.
The total value of inbound and outbound shipments of agricultural goods fell 6.6 percent to $4.16 billion in the first quarter from $4.45 billion in the same period in 2017.
Farm exports declined by 26.2 percent to $1.17 billion in the first quarter compared to $1.58 billion in the same period last year.
The share of agricultural exports to total export dropped by 7.4 percent from 9.4 percent in the first quarter of 2017.
Agricultural imports reflected an increase of 4.2 percent valued at $2.99 billion in the first quarter compared to $2.87 billion a year ago.
The share of agricultural imports to total imports however, went down by 11.6 percent in the first quarter from 11.9 percent in the same period last year.
The country’s top 10 agricultural exports alone comprised almost all of the revenue of farm exports in the first quarter. At an aggregate value of $1.10 billion, it made up 94.7 percent of the total agricultural export revenue in the first quarter.
This, however, decreased by 25.7 percent compared with the $1.49 billion recorded in the same period of 2017.
The top export earners during the first three months were: animal and vegetable fats and waxes, fresh vegetables and nuts, preparations of vegetables, preparations of seafood, fresh seafood, tobacco and tobacco products, gums and resin, sugars and sugar confectionary, preparations of cereals, flour, starch or milk, and beverages, spirits and vinegars.
Major imports during the month were cereals, animal fodder, miscellaneous feed stuff, animal and vegetable fats, meat and offal’s, dairy products and honey, seafood, beverages and spirits, fruits and nuts, and cereal preparations.
Among the major trading partners, Japan reflected a trade surplus of $122.78 million with the Philippines in the first quarter, lower by 24.7 percent compared to the $163 million posted in the first quarter of 2017.
Other major trading partners for Philippine agricultural products during the period were: European Union with $10.13 million trade deficit; Australia with $167.94 million deficit, US with $362.01 million trade deficit and ASEAN also with $877.25 million trade deficit.