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Imports, Exports Decline in 2020



The quarantine and lockdown measures caused the external trade in goods in the Philippines to decrease by 18.2 per cent to $149.37 billion in 2020.

In the latest preliminary data by the Philippine Statistics Authority, total trade with the rest of the world dropped to $182.52 billion in 2019 as both exports and imports noted double-digit declines.

As compared with $70.93 billion in 2019, the export of the Philippines in 2020 went down to 10.1 per cent or $63.77 billion worth of products. Imports, meanwhile, went from $111.59 billion in 2019 to $85.61 in 2020.

Last year, the contraction in exports was smaller than the projected 16 per cent by the Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) even as the slump for imports was bigger than the estimated 20 per cent.

The balance of trade-in goods went still at a deficit of $21.84 billion, although 46.2 per cent narrower in 2019 with its $40.67 billion.

With imports going down in 2020, exports had a meagre year-on-year growth in the months of September and November.

Export products also decreased by 7.6 per cent to $36.98 in 2020.

Among the top destinations of the Philippines for exports, last year included the United States, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, Germany, and Vietnam. Compared to 2019, exports in the other countries - except for Vietnam who climbed up 0.2 per cent - declined. For imports, the countries involved were Japan, China, United States, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand.

ING senior economist Nicholas Mapa said in a report that this trend might continue in 2021.

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