Agri trade gap widened by 15% in Q2

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The trade deficit in agricultural goods widened in the second quarter as the Philippines continued to rely on importation to boost domestic supply and reduce prices.

In a report, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said agricultural trade deficit hit $2.72 billion during the quarter, up 15 percent compared to April to June last year.

“The agricultural trade deficit of the country may have to do with increased importation of food/agricultural products, [which] was also bloated by higher world market prices, such as pork/meat, rice, sugar, fish, and other food/agricultural products in an effort to increase local supplies and lower prices and overall inflation,” Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort told the Inquirer in a message.

Total agricultural exports surged by 32.4 percent to end at $2.12 billion from $1.6 billion.
Agricultural imports were larger at $4.84 billion, up by 22 percent from $3.96 billion in the same period a year ago.

This brings the overall agricultural trade to $6.95 billion, representing a growth of 25 percent from $5.56 billion.

“The double-digit growth in both agricultural imports and exports can be attributed to the relatively higher prices of major global commodities largely brought about by the Russia-Ukraine conflict since Feb 24, 2022 that also led to higher inflation and added to the prices of agricultural commodities,” added Ricafort.

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