MANILA, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines' total external trade in goods increased by 2.4 percent in December 2019, amounting to 13.96 billion U.S. dollars from the 13.63 billion U.S. dollars in December 2018, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Tuesday.
Of the total external trade, the PSA said 5.74 billion or 41.1 percent were exported goods and 8.22 billion U.S. dollars or 58.9 percent were imported goods.
The PSA said the country's balance of trade in goods in December 2019 recorded a 2.48 billion U.S. dollars deficit, 40.6 percent lower than the 4.17 billion U.S. dollars deficit recorded in December 2018.
The PSA added that the Philippines' total export sales in December 2019 were 5.74 billion U.S. dollars, an increase by 21.4 percent from the 4.73 billion U.S. dollars total export sales in December 2018.
"This was due to the increments in the export sales of nine of the top 10 major export commodities, namely, cathodes and sections of cathodes, of refined copper; fresh bananas; gold; electronic products; chemicals; machinery and transport equipment; other manufactured goods; ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircraft and ships; and coconut oil," PSA Head Dennis Mapa said.
According to the PSA, total imported goods in December 2019 contracted by 7.6 percent, from 8.90 billion U.S. dollars in December 2018 to 8.22 billion U.S. dollars in December 2019.
Mapa said the decrease was due to the decrements of seven of the top 10 major import commodities.
"These were iron and steel; cereals and cereal preparations; industrial machinery and equipment; plastics in primary and non-primary forms; other food and live animals; electronic products; and transport equipment," Mapa added.
By major trading partners, the PSA said exports to the United States comprised the highest value of 902.25 million U.S. dollars or a share of 15.7 percent to the total exports in December 2019. Exports to the United States grew by 17.1 percent, from 770.46 million U.S. dollars in December 2018.