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Agricultural imports rise 44% in Q2; minimal export growth widens deficit

AGRICULTURAL IMPORTS grew 44% year on year in the second quarter to $3.84 billion, with the 2% rise in exports resulting in a near-doubling in the deficit for farm goods trade to $2.32 billion, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

The PSA said in a report Wednesday that exports increased 2% year on year to $1.53 billion, bringing the overall trade in agricultural goods to $5.37 billion, up 29.2%.

Agricultural imports accounted for 14.1% of all imports for the quarter, while farm exports made up 8.4% of the total.

“In the second quarter of 2021, the total balance of trade in agricultural goods was minus $2.32 billion. This reflects a deficit with an annual increase of 99.1%,” the PSA said.

The top agricultural export during the quarter was edible fruit and nuts and peel of citrus fruit and melons, valued at $452.23 million and accounting for 29.6% of total agricultural exports.  

Other leading agricultural exports were animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage products, prepared edible fats, and animal or vegetable waxes, valued at $287.92 million; preparations of vegetables, fruit, nuts, or other parts of plants $182.65 million, preparations of meat, of fish, or of crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates $129.70 million, and tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes $96.98 million.  

The PSA said cereals were the top agricultural import for the period, valued at $663.01 million, 17.2% of overall agricultural imports.

Other top agricultural imports included meat and edible meat offal, valued at $539.54 million; residues and waste from the food industries and prepared animal fodder $498.08 million; miscellaneous edible preparations $457.71 million, and animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage products, prepared edible fats, and animal or vegetable waxes $347.87 million.  

Thailand was the top ASEAN buyer of Philippine agricultural exports with $46.08 million and accounted for 27.8% of all agricultural exports to the region, while Indonesia was the top ASEAN source of agricultural imports with $368.35 million or 29.3% of the total.  

The top agricultural exports to ASEAN were tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes, $60.33 million; animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage products, prepared edible fats, and animal or vegetable waxes, $24.75 million; and preparations of cereals, flour, starch or milk, and pastry cooks’ products, $17.65 million.

Leading agricultural imports from ASEAN were miscellaneous edible preparations, $323.24 million; animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage products, prepared edible fats, and animal or vegetable waxes, $322.45 million, and cereals $267.47 million.

Within the European Union, the Netherlands was the top destination for agricultural exports, accounting for $154.21 million, while Spain was the leading source of agricultural imports at $91.91 million. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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