Highlights of the 2018 Annual Report on International Merchandise Trade Statistics of the Philippines (Preliminary)

Reference Number: 2019-130
Release Date: May 2, 2019

Total external trade amounts to $182.15 billion in 2018

The country’s total external trade in goods in 2018 amounted to $182.15 billion, representing an increase of 10.5 percent from the $164.81 billion total external trade in 2017.  Total export receipts rose to $69.31 billion in 2018, from $68.71 billion in 2017 or an increase of 0.9 percent.  Similarly, total imports, valued at $112.84 billion, increased by 17.4 percent in 2018 from $96.09 billion in 2017. This resulted to the country’s unfavorable balance of trade in goods (BoT-G) of $43.53 billion in 2018, which was higher than the trade deficit of $27.38 billion in 2017  (Table 1).

Figure 1

Top 10 export commodities contribute 80.7 percent to total export receipt

Export sales from the top 10 commodities reached $55.94 billion which accounted for 80.7 percent of the total export revenue in 2018.  It grew by 2.9 percent from an export value of $54.38 billion in 2017 (Table 2).

Electronic products continued as the top export earner in 2018 with a share of 55.1 percent to the total export revenue.  Its total export earnings of $38.18 billion in 2018 went up by 4.5 percent, from a value of $36.54 billion in 2017.

Other manufactured goods, which came second, had a share of 6.3 percent or a total receipt of $4.37 billion.  It rose by 5.0 percent from its previous year’s value of $4.16 billion.

Machinery and transport equipment placed third with export revenue amounting to $3.31 billion in 2018.  This accounted for 4.8 percent share to the total export receipt for the year.  However, export of this commodity declined by 11.6 percent, from the export value of $3.75 billion in 2017.

Ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships ranked fourth with export receipts amounting to $2.09 billion or a share of 3.0 percent.  It increased by 1.7 percent from its value of $2.05 billion in 2017.

Metal components placed fifth with an export value of $1.74 billion or a share of 2.5 percent to the total export receipts in 2018.  Export revenue from this commodity grew by 29.2 percent, from its value of $1.35 billion in 2017.

Completing the list of top 10 export commodities and their corresponding sales in 2018 were:

  • chemicals, $1.41 billion;
  • fresh bananas, $1.38 billion;
  • electronic equipment and parts, $1.19 billion;
  • cathodes and sections of cathodes, of refined copper, $1.14 billion; and
  • other mineral products, $1.13 billion.

Figure 2

Top 10 import commodities comprise 73.2 percent of total import bill

Total payment for the country’s top 10 import commodities in 2018 reached $82.57 billion or 73.2 percent of the total import payment.  This reflects an increase of 20.2 percent from the $68.69 billion total import in 2017. (Table 3)

Inbound shipments of electronic products remained as the top imported commodity in 2018, with import value reaching $28.66 billion or a share of 25.4 percent to total imports. Import of this commodity increased by 17.6 percent, from $24.37 billion in 2017.

Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials ranked second with import value amounting to $14.04 billion in 2018.   It grew by 30.1 percent from the import value of $10.80 billion in 2017.

Transport equipment came third with $11.85 billion import payments or a share of 10.5 percent to the total import in 2018.   Import value rose by 12.6 percent, from $10.53 billion in 2017.

Industrial machinery and equipment placed fourth with an import value of $6.77 billion or a share of 6.0 percent to the total imports in 2018.  It went up by 12.3 percent, from an import bill of $6.03 billion in 2017.

Iron and steel ranked fifth with $5.98 billion or 5.3 percent share to total imports in 2018.  This recorded an increase of 41.7 percent from the $4.22 billion total import in 2017.

Completing the list of the top 10 import commodities and their corresponding import bills in 2018 were:

  • other food and live animals, $3.52 billion;
  • miscellaneous manufactured articles, $3.33 billion;
  • cereals and cereal preparations, $2.89 billion;
  • telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery, $2.77 billion; and
  • plastics in primary and non-primary forms, $2.76 billion.

Figure 3

People’s Republic of China accounts for 16.9 percent of the total trade

The country’s top 10 trading partners contributed a total trade amounting to $140.46 billion or 77.1 percent of the total external trade in 2018. Total export receipts from the top 10 trading partners reached $54.60 billion or 78.8 percent of the total exports while total import bill amounted to $85.85 billion or 76.1 percent of the total imports.  This translates to a deficit balance of trade-in goods (BoT-G) amounting to $31.25 billion.

People’s Republic of China was the country’s top trading partner in 2018 with total trade amounting to $30.83 billion or 16.9 percent of the total trade.  Export receipts from China reached $8.82 billion while payment for import commodities amounted to $22.01 billion.  This results to a trade deficit amounting to $13.20 billion (Table 4).  Among the exported commodities, the biggest sale came from electronic products at $4.96 billion or 56.3 percent of the country’s exports to China.  Other manufactured goods came next with a share of $673.33 million or 7.6 percent (Table 5).  Imported goods purchased from China consisted of electronic products worth $4.50 billion or 20.5 percent of the country’s total import bills.  Iron and steel followed with import value of $2.89 billion or a share of 13.1 percent (Table 6).

Japan, including Okinawa, was the country’s second largest trading partner in 2018. It contributed 11.6 percent to the country’s total trade worth $21.14 billion. Total exports to Japan reached $10.32 billion while import commodities amounted to $10.82 billion, resulting to a trade deficit of $496.18 billion (Table 4).  Electronic products posted the largest share of $3.01 billion or 29.2 percent of the total exports to Japan. This was followed by ignition wiring sets and other wiring sets used in vehicles worth $962.36 million or a share of 9.3 percent (Table 5).  On the other hand, majority of the imported products from Japan were electronic products billed at $3.31 billion or 30.6 percent. Transport equipment followed with $1.50 billion or 13.9 percent (Table 6).

United States of America (USA), including Alaska and Hawaii, placed third with total trade of $18.70 billion or a share of 10.3 percent to the total trade in 2018. Export receipts to USA stood at $10.64 billion while import bills reached $8.06 billion. This resulted to a trade surplus of $2.57 billion (Table 4).  Majority of exports were electronic products valued at $5.13 billion or 48.2 percent of the total exports to USA (Table 5).  The bulk of inward shipments from USA were electronic products with payment worth $2.55 billion or 31.6 percent of the total.  Feeding stuff for animals (not including unmilled cereals) followed with imports valued at $1.01 billion or a share of 12.6 percent (Table 6).

Republic of Korea was the fourth largest trading partner with total trade amounting to $13.92 billion or a share of 7.6 percent to the total trade. Total export shipments were valued at 2.61 billion while inbound payments amounted to $11.31 billion.  This translates to a trade deficit of $8.70 billion in 2018 (Table 4).  Electronic products and other manufactured goods were the country’s major exports to Republic of Korea with earnings of $1.28 billion or 49.2 percent and $321.61 million or 12.3 percent of the total exports, respectively (Table 5). The bulk of inward commodities from this country were electronic products with import bill of $5.98 billion or a share of 52.9 percent, and mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials worth $2.20 billion or 19.4 percent share (Table 6).

Hong Kong was the country’s fifth largest trading partner with total trade worth $12.61 billion or a share of 6.9 percent to the total external trade.  Export revenues from this country reached $9.56 billion while import bills stood at $3.05 billion, resulting to a $6.52 billion trade surplus (Table 4).  The major exported goods to this country were electronic products valued at $8.00 billion or 83.6 percent and gold with total receipts of $816.90 million or 8.5 percent of the total exports (Table 5).  On the other hand, the main import commodities from this country were electronic products which amounted to $1.91 billion or 62.7 percent and transport equipment with import payments valued at $194.05 million or a share of 6.4 percent (Table 6).

Figure 4

European Union reflects a surplus of $320.71 million

The country’s external trade in goods with the European Union (EU) member countries was valued at $17.49 billion or 9.6 percent of the total trade in 2018.  Exports to EU reached $8.91 billion or 12.9 percent of the total export receipts. On the other hand, imports amounted to $8.59 billion or 7.6 percent of the total import.  This resulted to a trade surplus of $320.71 billion in 2018. Among the EU member countries, Germany was the country’s top trading partner with a total trade of $5.24 billion, comprising 30.0 percent of EU’s total trade.  Revenue from exports to Germany amounted to $2.79 billion while payment for imports stood at $2.46 billion, resulting to a trade surplus of $330.16 million (Table 7).

The top five exported goods to the EU member countries in 2018 were:

  • electronic products, $5.42 billion;
  • machinery and transport equipment, $902.23 million;
  • coconut oil (crude and refined), $450.49 million;
  • other manufactured goods, $358.25 million; and
  • tuna, $308.76 million (Table 8).

On the other hand, major imported goods from the EU member countries were:

  • transport equipment, $2.25 billion;
  • electronic products, $1.38 billion;
  • industrial machinery and equipment, $816.12 million;
  • medicinal and pharmaceutical products, $674.97 million; and
  • other food and live animals, $532.18 million (Table 9).

 

Total trade with ASEAN member countries sums up to $39.64 billion

Total external trade in goods with ASEAN member countries amounted to $39.64 billion or 21.8 percent of the country’s total trade. Total exports to ASEAN member countries reached $11.18 billion while total imports was worth $28.46 billion, resulting to an unfavorable balance of trade in goods of $17.27 billion.  Singapore was the country’s top trading partner among the ASEAN member countries with a total trade of $10.49 billion or 26.5 percent. Exports to Singapore amounted to $4.32 billion while payment for imports reached $6.17 billion, reflecting a trade deficit of $1.86 billion (Table 7).

The leading export commodities to the ASEAN member countries were:

  • electronic products, $6.89 billion;
  • other manufactured goods, $778.00 million;
  • metal components, $539.67 million;
  • cathodes and sections of cathodes, of refined copper, $425.55 million; and
  • machinery and transport equipment, $351.27 million (Table 8).

The top five import commodities from the ASEAN member countries were:

  • transport equipment, $5.46 billion;
  • electronic products, $5.12 billion;
  • mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, $3.48 billion;
  • other food and live animals, $1.55 billion; and
  • industrial machinery and equipment, $1.38 billion (Table 9).

Figure 5

Total trade with APEC member countries reaches $151.53 billion

Majority of the country’s external trade came from APEC member countries, valued at $151.53 billion or a share of 83.2 percent to the country’s total trade.  Export receipts amounted to $57.50 billion or 83.0 percent of the total export while import payments summed up to $94.02 billion or 83.3 percent of the total import.  This resulted to an unfavorable balance of trade in goods, amounting to $36.52 billion.

The country’s top five major trading partners within APEC were:

  • People’s Republic of China, $30.83 billion or 20.4 percent share;
  • Japan, $21.14 billion or 14.0 percent share;
  • USA, $18.70 billion or 12.3 percent share;
  • Republic of Korea, $13.92 billion or 9.2 percent share; and
  • Hong Kong, $12.61 billion or 8.3 percent of the APEC total trade (Table 10).

Electronic products were still the country’s major export to APEC member countries with sales value of $32.00 billion or a share of 55.7 percent to the total APEC exports.  Other top exported commodities were:

  • other manufactured goods, $3.82 billion;
  • machinery and transport equipment, $2.14 billion;
  • ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships, $2.04 billion; and
  • metal components, $1.53 billion (Table 11).

The top imported goods from APEC member countries were:

  • electronic products, $27.10 billion;
  • transport equipment, $9.26 billion;
  • mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, $8.77 billion;
  • industrial machinery and equipment, $5.79 billion; and
  • iron and steel, $5.45 billion (Table 12).

Figure 6

 

 

 

 

(Sgd.)  ROSALINDA P. BAUTISTA
           (Director II)
           Officer-in-Charge
           Sectoral Statistics Office

 

 


 

 

Explanatory Notes

This Special Release is a summary of the final monthly figures for the international merchandise trade statistics for 2018.  However, the details of export and import statistics at the 10-digit Philippine Standard Commodity Classification level are preliminary.

This report  includes data from documents (hard copies) received by the Philippine Statistics Authority beyond the cut-off period which is 25 days after the reference month.  Moreover, all export and import transactions from electronic copies of documents with date of registry/lodgement outside the reference month are processed and distributed to its corresponding reference period.

The commodity groupings in this Special Release are in accordance with the 2015 Philippine Standard Commodity Classification (PSCC).  The 2015 PSCC used to classify the commodities at the most detailed level.

The list of acronyms used in this Special Release are:

   AEDS - Automated Export Documentation System
   APEC – Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
   ASEAN – Association of Southeast Asian Nations
   BoT-G – Balance of Trade
   E2M - Electronic to Mobile
   EU – European Union
   FOB – Free on Board
   PSCC - Philippine Standard Commodity Classification version 2015
   ROW – Rest of the World
   USA – United States of America
   N.E.S – Not Elsewhere Specified

International merchandise trade statistics are available at Philippine Statistics Authority, Economic Sector Statistics Service, Trade Statistics Division (Telephone Number: 376-19-75).

 

Previous Release

Exports at a Glance

Reference Month Total Exports
Oct 2019 $5.90Bp
Jul 2019 $6.17Bp
Aug 2018 $6.18Br
Growth Rate (%)

3.48

3.28

2.28

Imports at a Glance

Reference Month Total Imports
Oct 2019 $9.02Bp
Jul 2019 $9.57Bp
Aug 2018 $9.68Br
Growth Rate (%)

-4.16

-10.45

39.84

Contact Us

Trade Statistics Division 
Economic Sector Statistics Service
J.Soliven@psa.gov.ph   3761975

Related Links