Agricultural goods trade deficit widens in Q3

Agricultural goods trade deficit widens in Q3

THE trade in agricultural goods posted a deficit of $2.97 billion in the third quarter, with the decline in exports outweighing weaker imports, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

In a report, the PSA said agricultural trade — the sum of exports and imports — fell 12% to $6.2 billion, reversing the 17.5% increase a year earlier.

Agricultural exports declined 13.3% to $1.61 billion for the period, accounting for 8.2% of total exports.

Leading exports were edible fruit and nuts as well as peel of citrus fruit melons, valued at $492.09 million or 30.5% of the total.

Agricultural products shipped to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations accounted for $182.98 million, with tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes the top items.

Malaysia was the Philippines’ top agricultural export market in the region, accounting for $53.88 million.

“Exports of agricultural goods to (the European Union) in the third quarter of 2023 reached $285.19 million, which contributed 12.5% to the country’s total value of exports to EU member countries,” the PSA said.

The Netherlands remained the top buyer of agricultural goods within the EU. It purchased $285.19 million or 52.8% of Philippine farm exports to the region.

Animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage products, prepared edible fats and animal or vegetable waxes remained the top agricultural exports to the EU.

Imports of agricultural goods fell 11.5% to $4.59 billion, representing 14.6% of total imports.

Cereals remained the top agricultural imports for the period at 21.1% of the total, or $969.89 million.

“The (Philippine) agricultural imports from EU member countries amounted to $382.34 million or 20.5% of the total value of imports in the third quarter,” it said.

Among EU members, Spain was the top supplier of goods, accounting for $91.69 million or 24% of overall farm imports.

Meat and edible meat offal were the top imports from the EU. — Adrian H. Halili