August imports growth slide to 6.9%

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Value of imports in August reached $5.542 billion, reflecting a 6.9% year-on-year hike that's slower than July's pace

SLOWER GROWTH. The pace of growth of Philippine imports slowed down in August. AFP PHOTO/ROMEO GACAD

MANILA, Philippines – Total merchandise imports in August grew 6.9%, tempering the recovery of 8.7% posted in July.

Imports, a key indicator of impact of the global economic woes on Philippine economy, has been sluggish in recent months as demand for goods, mostly for export, slowed down.

In the National Statistics Office data released on Friday, October 25, value of imports in August reached US$5.542 billion, higher than the $5.184 billion a year ago.

This brought the aggregate imports for the first 8 months of 2013 to $40.644 billion, down 0.9% against the $41.017 billion posted a year ago.

Exports in August increased 20.2%, resulting in a $961 million deficit in the country’s trade in goods that month from $1,374 million a year ago.

Source: National Statistics Office

Electronic products, the top imported commodity, accounted for 24.2% of the import bill in August. Payments amounting to $1.34 billion for the month reflected a 9% decrease from a year ago and 17.6% decline from the $1.627 billion recorded in July 2013.

Semiconductors, the top imported electronic products with an 18.9% share of the total, decreased by 9.9% to $1.047 billion in August.

The other top imports for the month were:

  • Raw materials and intermediate goods, $2.012 billion, 36.3% share to total imports 
  • Capital goods, $1.523 billion, 27.5%
  • Mineral fuels, lubricants and related material, $1.293 billion worth, 23.3%
  • Purchases of Consumer Goods, $669.80 million
  • Transport equipment, $456.76 million, 8.2% share
  • Industrial machinery and equipment, $263.37 million, 4.8%
  • Metalliferous ores and metal scrap, $169.05 million, 3.1% 
  • Other food and live animals, $147.60 million
  • Plastics in primary and non-primary forms, $133.30 million
  • Iron and steel, $124.79 million
  • Organic and inorganic chemicals, $119.58 million
  • Telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery, $101.05 million

Aggregate payment for the country’s top 10 imports for August reached $4.149 billion or 74.9% of the total import bill.

Imports from China

China remained the Philippines’ biggest source of imports for August, accounting for 13% share of the total import bill. Total payments during the month was up 30% to $720.23 million.

Bilateral trade value between the Philippines and China reached $1.361 billion. The Philippines has a deficit of $79.83 million with exports to China amounting to $640.40 million in August.

The following are the other biggest sources of imports:

  • USA (including Alaska and Hawaii), $522.36 million, 9.4% share; trade surplus for the Philippines at $88.48 million
  • Taiwan, $470.53 million, 8.5% share; trade deficit of $317.08 million
  • Japan, $453.93 million, 8.2% share; trade surplus of $502.52 million
  • Saudi Arabia, $451.13 million, 8.1% share; trade deficit of $445.34 million.
  • Singapore, $405.40 million
  • Germany, $346.93 million
  • South Korea, $310.92 million
  • Thailand, $257.87 million
  • Malaysia, $172.53 million

Aggregate payments in August for the goods imported from the top 10 sources reached $4.112 billion or 74.2% of the total.

Total imports from ASEAN-member countries reached $1.071 billion, accounting for a 19.3% share. Trade deficit for the Philippines reached $401.39 million.

Imports from European Union reached $588.07 million in August, resulting in a total trade of $1.179 billion and a trade surplus of $77.80 million for the month. –

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