MANILA, Sept 14 — The Philippine’s total merchandise trade declined as exports continue to slide in July 2016, given that global economic recovery remains slow, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
This was revealed as the Philippine Statistics Authority reported total revenue from trade fell from US $ 12.2 billion in the previous year to US $11.4 billion in July 2016. This is attributed to the 13 percent decline in exports and 1.7 percent decline in imports.
The decline in exports was due to the decrease in demand for Philippine products from traditional markets such as Japan, China, Hong Kong, and USA.
The decline in imports was a result of the decrease in local demand for raw materials and intermediate goods (13.6%), as well as mineral fuel, lubricants (26.3%).
Meanwhile, exports to the country’s non-traditional markets posted increases, particularly in France and Mexico, which grew by 59.2 percent and 22.4 percent respectively. Meanwhile, imports from Japan, China, Hong Kong and Singapore increased in July 2015.
There was also strong sales in coconut products, like coconut oil and desiccated coconut, and agro-based products eased to 0.6 percent in July 2016, a relief from the four-month long double-digit decline since March.
But NEDA warns of the looming threat of La Niña the government needs to ensure policies that improve and strengthen the resiliency of agricultural communities are passed swiftly.
Export of manufactured goods declined by 13.0 percent to US$4.0 billion in July 2016, the steepest decline for the last ten months since September 2015.
On the other hand, imports of capital goods grew by 23.1 percent to US$ 2.3 billion while consumer goods grew by 8.3 percent to US$ 1.1 billion in July 2016.
Almost all Asian countries, except for Vietnam (5.1%), experienced declines in export performance with Indonesia (-12.0%) and Malaysia (-10.2%) joining the Philippines with double-digit negative growth rates for July 2016.