A. TOTAL EXTERNAL TRADE AND BALANCE OF TRADE
1. Total external trade increased
The country’s total external trade in goods in April 2021, which amounted to USD 14.16 billion, grew at an annual rate of 107.5 percent. In the previous month, the annual increase was recorded at 26.5 percent, while in April 2020, the decline was at -54.8 percent. (Table A)
Of the total external trade in April 2021, 59.7 percent were imported goods, while the rest were exported goods.
2. Trade deficit posted an annual increase
Balance of trade in goods (BoT-G) is the difference between the value of export and import. BoT-G in April 2021 amounted to USD -2.73 billion, representing a trade deficit with an annual increase of 1,361.5 percent. The trade deficit in the previous month recorded an annual increase of 0.9 percent, while in April 2020, it was at -95.1 percent. (Figure 1, and Tables A and 2)
1. Sales from export posted a positive growth
The country’s total export sales in April 2021, amounting to USD 5.71 billion, increased at an annual rate of 72.1 percent from an increase of 33.3 percent in the previous month. In April 2020, total export sales declined at an annual rate of -41.3 percent annually. (Figure 2, and Tables A and 2)
All the top 10 major commodity groups, in terms of value of exports, recorded annual increases led by ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts, and ships (1,237.6%). This was followed by metal components (345.2%), and miscellaneous manufactured articles, n.e.s. (256.1%). (Tables B and 3)
2. Year-to-date total export increased
The cumulative export earnings from January to April 2021 amounted to USD 23.37 billion, a 19.0 percent increase from the export value earned from January to April 2020. (Table 4)
3. Electronic products commodity group remained the highest on export sales
By commodity group, electronic products continued to be the country’s top export in April 2021 with total earnings of USD 3.22 billion. This amount accounted for 56.4 percent of the total exports for the period. This was followed by other manufactured goods with an export value of USD 371.27 million (6.5%); and export of other mineral products which amounted to USD 257.75 million (4.5%). (Figure 3 and Table 3)
4. Manufactured goods still comprised the biggest chunk of total exports among major types of goods
By major type of goods, exports of manufactured goods shared the highest to the total exports in April 2021 amounting to USD 4.71 billion (82.3%). This was followed by mineral products with a share of USD 525.42 million (9.2%); and total agro-based products which contributed USD 350.03 million (6.1%). (Figure 4 and Table 5)
5. Total export value of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical supplies decreased in April 2021
The total export value for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical supplies in April 2021 dropped to USD 2.74 million. This represents an annual decrease of -86.9 percent from its value in April 2020.
The annual decrease in the export value for these medical items in the previous month was recorded at -85.8 percent, while in April 2020, the increase was significantly higher at 9,729.2 percent.
The annual decrement noted in the export of surgical face mask at -89.6 percent and other face mask (non-surgical/non-medical masks including masks made of cloth) at -63.0 percent, contributed to the decrease of export value for PPE and medical supplies in April 2021.
Month-on-month, export value for PPE and medical supplies increased by 13.3 percent in April 2021, while in March 2021, it increased by 37.1 percent.
Contributing to the monthly increase in the export value of PPE and medical supplies was surgical face mask (163.5%). On the other hand, export value for testing kits and other face mask (non-surgical/non-medical masks including masks made of cloth) decreased by -89.6 percent and -47.4 percent, respectively. (Tables C and 5a)
6. People’s Republic of China contributed the highest export value
By major trading partner, exports to People’s Republic of China comprised the highest export value amounting to USD 953.23 million or a share of 16.7 percent to the total exports during the month.
Completing the top five major export trading partners with their export values and percent shares to the total exports were:
a. United States of America (USA), USD 857.45 million (15.0%);
b. Japan, USD 819.27 million (14.3%);
c. Hong Kong, USD 735.03 million (12.9%); and
d. Singapore, USD 315.69 million (5.5%). (Figure 5 and Table 7)
7. Majority of exports were for APEC countries
By economic bloc, majority of the country’s merchandise exports in April 2021 went to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member countries with a share of USD 4.84 billion (84.7%). This was followed by East Asia, valued at USD 2.88 billion (50.4%), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) which amounted to USD 956.67 million (16.7%). (Figure 6 and Table 8)
8. Eastern Asia contributed the highest export value by geographic region
By geographic region, Eastern Asia comprised the highest export value amounting to USD 2.88 billion in April 2021. This was followed by South-eastern Asia with an export value of USD 956.68 million and Northern America with USD 900.93 million. (Figure 7)
1. Import value increased
Total imported goods in April 2021, which amounted to USD 8.45 billion, increased at an annual rate of 140.9 percent. In March 2021, the annual increase was lower at 22.0 percent, while in April 2020, imports decreased by -62.9 percent annually. (Figures 1 and 8, and Table A)
The annual increment of imported goods in April 2021 was due to the increase in all of the top 10 major commodity groups which was led by transport equipment (547.4%). This was followed by mineral fuels, lubricants, and related materials (387.9%); and other food and live animals (283.1%). (Tables D and 9)
2. Year-to-date total import value increased
The cumulative import value from January to April 2021 amounted to USD 34.46 billion, representing an increment of 21.9 percent from the import value of USD 28.27 billion in the same period of 2020. (Table 10)
3. Electronic products accounted for the highest import value among commodity groups
Most of the imported goods were electronic products with an import value of USD 2.41 billion or a share of 28.5 percent to the total imports in April 2021. This was followed by mineral fuels, lubricants, and related materials, valued at USD 841.90 million (10.0%); and transport equipment which amounted to USD 614.71 million (7.3%). (Figure 9 and Table 9)
4. Imports of raw materials and intermediate goods contributed the highest among types of goods
By major type of goods, imports of raw materials and intermediate goods accounted for the largest share of USD 3.40 billion (40.2%) to the total imports in April 2021. Imports of capital goods ranked second with a share of USD 2.71 billion (32.0%), followed by consumer goods with USD 1.43 billion (16.9%). (Figure 10 and Table 11)
5. Total import value of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical supplies including COVID-19 vaccine increased in April 2021
The total import value for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical supplies including COVID-19 vaccine in April 2021 increased to USD 45.70 million, indicating an annual increment of 98.6 percent from its value in the same month of the previous year.
In April 2021, the total import of COVID-19 vaccine was valued at USD 14.00 million.
Annual growth of import value for these medical items was recorded at 178.2 percent in the previous month, while in April 2020, the annual increase was noted at 52.6 percent.
The annual increments noted in the following items have increased the total import value for PPE and medical supplies during the period:
a. safety headgear (359.8%);
b. surgical gloves (283.3%);
c. testing kits (136.5%); and
d. other face mask (non-surgical/non-medical masks including masks made of cloth, 71.7%).
Meanwhile, import value decreased year-on-year for face shield (-67.1%), surgical face mask (-62.2%), and protective clothing (-26.7%).
Month-on-month, import value for PPE and medical supplies including COVID-19 vaccine decreased by -2.0 percent in April 2021, while in the previous month, it registered a higher rate of 14.1 percent.
Contributing to the monthly decrease in the import value of PPE and medical supplies including COVID-19 vaccine were surgical gloves (-36.7%), protective clothing (-34.7%), and testing kits (-9.2%). Meanwhile import values increased month-on-month for face shield by 1,212.8 percent; other face mask (non-surgical/non-medical masks including masks made of cloth) by 62.7 percent; safety headgear by 40.3 percent; and surgical face mask by 32.8 percent. (Tables E and 11a)
6. People’s Republic of China had the highest import value
The People’s Republic of China was the country’s biggest supplier of imported goods valued at USD 2.16 billion or 25.5 percent of the total imports in April 2021.
Completing the top five major import trading partners with their corresponding import payments and percent shares to the total imports were:
a. Japan, USD 811.84 million (9.6%);
b. USA, USD 602.39 million (7.1%);
c. Indonesia, USD 596.80 million (7.1%); and
d. Republic of Korea, USD 542.43 million (6.4%). (Figure 11 and Table 13)
7. Imports came largely from APEC member countries
By economic bloc, APEC member countries were the biggest suppliers of the country’s imported goods in April 2021 with a share of USD 7.40 billion (87.6%). This was followed by East Asia with an import value of USD 4.18 billion (49.5%), and ASEAN with USD 2.34 billion (27.7%). (Figure 12 and Table 14)
8. Eastern Asia contributed the highest import value by geographic region
By geographic region, USD 4.18 billion of the country’s imports in April 2021 were from Eastern Asia. This was followed by South-eastern Asia whose import value amounted to USD 2.34 billion, and Northern America valued at USD 641.78 million. (Figure 13)
DENNIS S. MAPA, Ph.D.
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General
Export and import trade statistics are compiled by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) from export and import documents submitted to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) by exporters and importers or their authorized representatives as required by law.
The following are documents collected, either in electronic or hard copies:
- Export Declaration (ED – DTI form);
- Import Entry and Internal Revenue Declaration (BOC IEIRD Form 236);
- Informal Import Declaration and Entry (BOC Form 177); and
- Single Administrative Documents (SAD) for ED and IEIRD.
The electronic copies of all documents that pass thru the online system are provided by BOC, Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), and Value Added Service Providers (VASPs) to PSA on a monthly basis through email and via shared google drive.
The electronic copies of the Export Declarations (SAD-ED) from the Automated Export Documentation System (AEDS) of the BOC are being utilized to generate export statistics. The AEDS is a paperless transaction in lieu of the manual filling up of export documents.
Moreover, an electronic copy of the Import Entry and Internal Revenue Declaration (SAD-IEIRD) is utilized to capture the monthly import figures. The SAD-IEIRD is an import document submitted online either by brokers or companies. These are transactions that pass through the Automated Cargo Operating System (ACOS), now called the e2m (electronic to mobile) customs system, which is implemented through the BOC e-Customs Project.
All documents (hard copies and electronic files) received within the cut-off date, which is every 25th day of the month, are compiled, processed, summarized, analyzed, and disseminated through monthly statistical tables and press releases (PRs). Processing includes coding, editing, reviewing, and validating of results.
Preliminary results of export and import statistics are disseminated in the form of PR. The PR is disseminated every 40th day after the reference month. However, if the 40th day falls on a Saturday, the release is made
a day earlier (Friday). If it falls on a Sunday or Monday, the release is on Tuesday. Moreover, if the release date falls on a holiday, the date of
release is moved accordingly. Preliminary results are posted on the PSA website (www.psa.gov.ph).
All documents received after the cut-off date are included in the generation of the revised results. The revised data of the previous month are reported during the release of the preliminary report of the current month. Revisions are made for the previous months until the annual report is released three (3) months after the reference year.
The 2015 and 2019 Philippine Standard Commodity Classification (PSCC) is used to classify the commodities at 10-digit code level for statistical purposes.
Data requests on international merchandise trade statistics can be made at the PSA, Economic Sector Statistics Service, Trade Statistics Division with telephone number (02) 8376-1975 or email address firstname.lastname@example.org.