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Agri trade deficit widens 15% in second quarter

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

THE agricultural trade deficit widened 15% year on year in the second quarter to $2.72 billion, according to preliminary data issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The PSA said in a report released on Oct. 28 that overall agricultural trade during the second quarter rose 25% year on year to $6.95 billion.

The PSA said agricultural exports rose 32.4% year-on-year to $2.12 billion during the period, accounting for 11.1% of all exports, while agricultural imports rose 22% to $4.84 billion or 13.5% of all imports.

According to the PSA, exports of fats and oils, which includes animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage products; prepared edible fats; and animal or vegetable wax, accounted for the biggest share by value, at $690.14 million.

Agricultural exports to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) totaled $336.56 million, equivalent to 9.8% of all exports to the region. Malaysia was the leading destination at $158.58 million.

The top three major agricultural commodities exported to ASEAN were animal or vegetable fats and oils ($180.39 million), tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes ($69.75 million), and miscellaneous edible preparations ($16.48 million).

The PSA said cereals were the leading import commodity at $944.43 million or 19.5% of the total.

Agricultural imports from ASEAN amounted to $1.56 billion or 14.4% of overall imports. Vietnam was the biggest ASEAN source of agricultural products, accounting for $420.38 million.

The top three imports from ASEAN countries were animal or vegetable fats and oils ($451.04 million), miscellaneous edible preparations ($352.19 million), and cereals ($290.28 million).

Within the European Union (EU), the PSA said Netherlands was the leading destination of  agricultural exports, accounting for $274.60 million or 55.6% of all shipments to Europe. Spain was the top EU source of agricultural products with $114.82 million. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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