TOTAL TRADE REBOUNDS IN 1999
Total merchandise trade with the rest of the world went up by 11.2 percent to $65.759 billion for the whole year 1999 from $59.155 billion in 1998. In contrast there was a 3.3 percent decline in 1998. Merchandise exports of $35.033 billion in 1999 posted an 18.8 percent increase from $29.496 billion in 1998 while merchandise imports of $30.726 billion rose by 3.6 percent from $29.659 billion. The balance of trade in goods (BOT-G) for 1999 stood at a surplus of $4.307 billion, which was a sharp reversal from the deficit of $163 million in 1998(See Fig. 2A).
DECEMBER 1999 IMPORTS GROW BY 28.7 PERCENT
For the month of December 1999 alone, total merchandise trade of $5.597 billion posted a 22.1 percent increase from $4.585 billion in December 1998. Receipts from exports gained 16.7 percent to $2.944 billion from $2.523 billion while payments for imports reached $2.653 billion, up by 28.7 percent from $2.062 billion. The 28.7 percent gain was the highest growth since the 30.5 percent posted in July 1996. The BOT-G stood at a surplus of $290 million in December 1999 (See Fig. 2B).
ELECTRONICS AND COMPONENTS ACCOUNT FOR 27.1 PERCENT OF DECEMBER 1999 IMPORT BILL
Payments for Electronics and Components, still the top import with a 27.1 percent share, increased by 75.9 percent to $718.40 million from $408.38 million last year.
Payments for Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materialsaccounted for 12.5 percent of the total and amounted to $332.23 million. This was 166.6 percent higher than $124.63 million last year.
With a 7.4 percent share, payments for Telecommunication Equipment and Electrical Machinery reached $196.58 million but dropped by 2.0 percent from $200.49 million last year.
The fourth top import consisted of Industrial Machinery and Equipment. Aggregate payment accounting for 5.7 percent of the total went up by 7.4 percent to $152.12 million from $141.59 million a year ago.
Materials/Accessories Imported on Consignment Basis for the Manufacture of Other Electrical and Electronic Machinery and Equipment comprised the fifth top import group. Accounting for 5.1 percent of the total bill, payments reached $134.08 million. This was down however by 24.7 percent from $178.00 million a year earlier.
Office and EDP Machines with a share of 4.6 percent of the total was the sixth top import with a value of $122.96 million, higher by 12.8 percent over $109.01 million a year ago (See Fig. 3).
Rounding up the list of the top imports for December 1999 wereTextile Yarn, Fabrics, Made-up Articles and Related Products,$82.92 million; Transport Equipment, $71.39 million; Iron and Steel, $71.27 million; and Miscellaneous Manufactured Articles,$60.64 million.
Aggregate payment for the top ten imports for the month amounted to $1.943 billion, or 73.2 percent of the total.
CAPITAL GOODS UP BY 32.8 PERCENT
Accounting for 39.1 percent of the import bill, Capital Goods led purchases for the month with aggregate payments reaching $1.039 billion. This was 32.8 percent higher than $781.98 million a year ago.
Raw Materials and Intermediate Goods accounted for the second biggest slice of the import bill for the month at 38.5 percent. Actual payments amounted to $1.022 billion, which was an increase of 18.2 percent from $864.52 million last year.
Purchases of Mineral Fuel and Lubricants of $332.23 million was up by 166.6 percent from $124.63 million in December 1998.
Expenditures for Consumer Goods fell by 10.0 percent to $191.87 million while payments for Special Transactions also dropped by 11.4 percent to $68.56 million (See Fig. 4).
IMPORTS FROM TOP TEN MARKETS 75.6 PERCENT OF TOTAL
With a 20.1 percent share of the total import bill, the United States remained as the top source of foreign-made merchandise. Value of imports from the United States increased by 20.7 percent to $534.28 million from $442.58 million last December 1998. Exports to the United States on the other hand amounted to $826.98 million yielding a two-way trade figure of $1.361 billion and a BOT-G surplus of $292.70 million.
Japan, the second biggest source of imports with a 19.0 percent share, reported sales of $503.04 million against purchases amounting to $409.62 million. Total trade reached $912.66 million with a BOT-G deficit of $93.42 million.
The third biggest source of imports for the month was the Republic of Korea. Expenditures for imports amounted to $209.35 million while revenues for exports reached $117.82 million resulting in a two-way trade value of $327.17 million and a $91.53 million BOT-G deficit.
Other major sources of imports for December 1999 were Singapore,$171.93 million; Taiwan, $122.26 million; Saudi Arabia, $107.25 million; Iran, $98.60 million; Hongkong, $95.90 million; Malaysia,$88.65 million; and Peoples Republic of China, $75.31 million.
Payments for imports from the top ten sources amounted to $2.007 billion or 75.6 percent of the total (See Fig. 5).
As of press time 38 out of 54,716 export documents and 23 out of 57,998 import documents were still expected from the ports.
Source: National Statistics Office