From a global perspective, Philippines imported car sales accelerated in 2016 going from 52nd place in 2015 to 29th for 2016 compared to the total value of imported cars bought by other nations.
Imported cars delivered to the Philippines in 2016 totaled US$4 billion, more than doubling in value up by 134.7% from $1.7 billion since 2012. A healthy portion of that gain transpired from 2015 to 2016, when imports of cars into the Philippines appreciated by 70.5%.
Among continents, Asian nations produced the highest dollar value worth of Filipino-imported cars during 2016 with shipments amounting to $3.8 billion or 96.6% of the island country’s total imports. European car makers accounted for 1.8%, while 1.6% originated from North American car manufacturers with 0.1% coming from Africa.
The 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix for cars (including station wagons) is 8703.
Imported Car Sales for the Philippines
Below are the 15 countries that furnished the highest dollar value worth of cars imported into the Philippines during 2016:
- Thailand: US$1.8 billion (46.1% of total cars exports)
- Indonesia: $1.2 billion (29.1%)
- Japan: $422.8 million (10.7%)
- South Korea: $262.8 million (6.6%)
- India: $86.7 million (2.2%)
- United States: $56.4 million (1.4%)
- Germany: $49.1 million (1.2%)
- Taipei, Chinese: $28.7 million (0.7%)
- China: $23.2 million (0.6%)
- United Kingdom: $9.9 million (0.25%)
- Malaysia: $9.5 million (0.24%)
- United Arab Emirates: $8.1 million (0.21%)
- Italy: $5.4 million (0.14%)
- Mexico: $3.2 million (0.08%)
- Spain: $3.2 million (0.08%)
The listed 15 countries shipped 99.6% of all cars imported into Philippines during 2016 by value.
Among the above countries, the fastest-growing cars exporters since 2012 were: Spain (up 3,267% in value), China (up 388.2%), Malaysia (up 353.7%) and Thailand (up 216.5%).
Italy was the only car-supplying nation that experienced a drop in its export sales to the Philippines in 2016, down by -15.6% compared to 2012.
The Philippines did ship a modest $27.2 million worth of cars to other countries in 2016, and posted positive net exports for automobiles with the small group of trade partners listed below. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus that the Philippines earned. In other words, the difference between the value of Filipino car exports and its import purchases for that same commodity.
- Pakistan: US$2.8 million (net export surplus up 409.3% since 2012)
- Marshall Islands: $27,000
- Turkey: $20,000
- Cambodia: $7,000
Pakistan propelled the Philippines to its highest surplus win in the international trade of cars. This positive cashflow confirms the Philippines competitive advantage for this specific product category versus Pakistan—as it does for versus the other listed trade partners.
Overall, the Philippines incurred a -$3.9 billion deficit in the international trade of cars during 2016. Highest negative net exports were with the countries listed below.
Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the following statistics present the deficit between the value of Filipino car import purchases and its exports for that same commodity.
- Thailand: US-$1.8 billion (net export deficit up 229.3% since 2012)
- Indonesia: -$1.2 billion (up 192.4%)
- Japan: -$413.9 million (up 19.3%)
- South Korea: -$262.7 million (up 60.4%)
- India: -$86.7 million (up 136.4%)
- United States: -$56.4 million (up 2.7%)
- Germany: -$49.1 million (up 80.7%)
- Taiwan: -$28.7 million (up 92%)
- China: -$22.8 million (up 380.3%)
- United Kingdom: -$9.4 million (up 129.7%)
- Malaysia: -$8.6 million (down -368.3%)
- United Arab Emirates: -$8.1 million (up 27.8%)
- Italy: -$5.4 million (down -15.6%)
- Cyprus: -$5.2 million (down -35%)
- North Korea: -$4.7 million (up 3,336%)
Thailand is responsible for the Philippines incurring highest deficit in the international trade of automobiles. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights the competitive disadvantages the Philippines have for this specific product category versus Thailand and other automotive producers on the above list. Conversely, it also signals opportunities for those car-making countries that help satisfy the growing demand among Filipino consumers.
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on July 20, 2017
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on July 20, 2017
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on July 20, 2017
Wikipedia, List of countries by motor vehicle production. Accessed on July 20, 2017