The Philippines’ total external trade in goods grew at an annual rate of 0.6 percent, or about USD12.191 billion, in February 2021.
Of the total external trade in February 2021, 58.9 percent were imported goods, while the rest were exported goods, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed.
Compared to the previous month, the annual decrease was recorded at -9.4 percent while in February 2020, the decline was slower at -3.1 percent.
Electronic products accounted for the highest import value among commodity groups, with an import value of USD2.12 billion or a share of 27.9 percent of total imports in February, PSA data showed.
This was followed by transport equipment, valued at USD759.29 million or 10.0 percent, and mineral fuels, lubricants, and related materials which amounted to USD692.46 million, or 9.1 percent.
By major type of goods, imports of raw materials and intermediate goods accounted for the largest share at USD2.97 billion (39.0 percent) of the total imports in February.
Imports of capital goods ranked second with a share of USD2.56 billion (33.6 percent), followed by consumer goods with USD1.32 billion (17.3 percent).
The increase has been predicted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in its Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Trends report on merchandise trade in December 2020.
Unescap estimated that the country’s exports and imports will reach a high of 15.8 percent and 24.3 percent in 2021, respectively.
It said the Philippines can boost its investments in information and communications technology to leverage the trading of services, citing reports that 84 percent of enterprises increased their ICT budgets in 2020, as against 66 percent in the previous year.
Sales from exports, however, posted negative growth.
Total export sales in February 2021, amounting to USD5.31 billion, contracted at an annual rate of -2.3 percent, from an annual decrease of -4.8 percent in the previous month.
In February 2020, total export sales rose at a rate of 3.4 percent annually.*PNA