EXTERNAL TRADE PERFORMANCE
IMPORTS WENT UP BY 9.6 PERCENT IN MARCH 2014
Total external trade in goods for March 2014 amounting to $5.425 billion increased by 9.6 percent from $4.952 billion recorded during the same period a year ago. The increase in total imports was due to the positive performance of six out of the top ten major commodities for the month. These are: transport equipment; plastics in primary and non-primary forms; mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials; miscellaneous manufactured articles; other food & live animals; and organic and inorganic chemicals.
Cumulative imports for the first three months of 2014 amounted to $16.168 billion and showed a 12.0 percent increase compared with $14.436 billion in the same period of last year.
The balance of trade in goods (BOT-G) for the Philippines in March 2014 registered a lower deficit of $146 million compared to the $253 million deficit in the same period last year.
MINERAL FUELS, LUBRICANTS AND RELATED MATERIALS ACCOUNT FOR 23.6 PERCENT OF IMPORT BILL
Imported merchandise on Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials was the top imported commodity in March 2014, accounting for 23.6 percent of the aggregate import bill and value amounting to $1.283 billion. It increased by 23.3 percent over last year's figure of $1.041 billion.
Imports of Electronic Products ranked second with 22.1 percent share and reported value of $1.198 billion in March 2014. It went down by 4.3 percent from $1.252 billion in March 2013. Among the major groups of electronic products, Components/Devices (Semiconductors), having the biggest share of 17.1 percent among electronic products, decreased by 3.3 percent from $959.19 million in March 2013 compared to $927.87 million in March 2014.
Transport Equipment placed third with 10.6 percent share to total imports valued at $576.83 million. It accelerated by 56.5 percent from previous year’s level of $368.56 million. It registered the highest year-on-year change among the top ten imports for March 2014
Industrial Machinery and Equipment, contributing 4.5 percent to the total import bill was the country’s fourth top import for the month amounting to $246.05 million. It went down by 1.3 percent compared to last year’s value of $249.35 million.
Fifth in rank and with 3.5 percent share to the total imports, Plastics in Primary and Non-Primary Forms recorded $187.57 million worth of imports. It increased by 53.8 percent from its year ago level of $121.9 million.
Rounding up the list of the top ten imports for March 2014 were: Other Food and Live Animals valued at $177.56 million; Iron and Steel, $127.70; Miscellaneous Manufactured Articles amounting to $115.32 million; Organic and Inorganic Chemicals, $115.07 million; and Telecommunication Equipment and Electrical Machinery, $111.73 million.
Aggregate payment for the country’s top ten imports for March 2014 reached $4.139 billion or 76.3 percent of the total import bill.
RAW MATERIALS AND INTERMEDIATE GOODS ACCOUNT FOR 38.6 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL IMPORTS
Total bill for purchases of Raw Materials and Intermediate Goods in March 2014 valued at $2.092 billion and accounted for 38.6 percent of the total imports. It increased by 8.1 percent over last year's figure of $1.935 billion. Semi-Processed Raw Materials had the biggest share of 36.0 percent valued at $1.954 billion.
Payments for inward shipments of Capital Goods accounting for 23.9 percent of the total imports, declined by 1.9 percent from $1.322 billion in March 2013 to $1.297 billion in March 2014.
Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials with 23.6 percent share to total imports increased by 23.3 percent to $1.283 billion in March 2014 from $1.041 billion in March 2013. Other mineral fuel and lubricants such as gas oils, motor spirit (premium unleaded) and aviation spirit contributed the biggest share of imports in this commodity group.
Purchases of Consumer Goods recorded a 13.3 percent share with a total import bill valued at $723.13 million in March 2014. It increased by 18.0 percent from $612.71 million registered in March 2013.
Special Transactions declined by 27.4 percent from $42.07 million to $30.55 million in March 2014.
IMPORTS FROM PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA ACCOUNT FOR 15.2 PERCENT
People’s Republic of China remained as the country’s biggest source of imports with 15.2 percent share in March 2014. Payments were recorded at $825.47 million, an increase of 46.2 percent from $564.49 million in March 2013. Revenue from country’s exports to China, on the other hand, reached $557.49 million, generating a total trade value of $1.383 billion and $267.98 million trade deficit.
Second in rank was Republic of Korea accounting for 12.0 percent share of the total import bill in March 2014 or an increase of 56.3 percent to $651.21 million from $416.64 million compared to same period last year. Exports to Korea amounted to $261.84 million resulting to a total trade value of $913.05 million and a trade deficit of $389.37 million.
Singapore came third, contributing a 7.9 percent of the total import bill in March 2014, with import value of $430.53 million. Export receipts from Singapore in March 2014 reached $392.94 million yielding a total trade value of $823.47 million and a trade deficit of $37.59 million.
United States of America (USA) including Alaska and Hawaii was the fourth biggest source of imports for March 2014 with 7.7 percent share to the total import bill amounting to $415.86 million and decreased by 23.7 percent from $545.10 million in March 2013. Exports to USA amounted to $717.42 million, yielding a two-way trade value of $1.133 billion and a trade surplus of $301.56 million.
Japan ranked fifth, accounting for 7.4 percent share of the total import bill in March 2014 with a negative growth of 14.6 percent from $470.72 million to $401.90 million in March 2014. Exports to this country amounted to $1.326 billion resulting to a total trade value of $1.728 billion and a trade surplus of $924.19 million.
Other major sources of imports for the month of March 2014 were: Taiwan, $344.54 million; France, $301.99 million; Thailand, $253.94 million; Indonesia, $253.42 million; and Saudi Arabia, $227.70 million.
Aggregate payments for imports from the top ten sources for March 2014 amounted to $4.107 billion or 75.7 percent of the total.
IMPORTED GOODS FROM EAST ASIA ACCOUNT FOR 38.6 PERCENT
Philippines’ total imports from East Asia (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan) was the biggest source of the country’s imports in March 2014 as it accounted for 43.2 percent of the total imports valued at $2.341 billion. It increased by 14.8 percent from $2.039 billion in March 2013. Total exports to member-countries of East Asia amounted to $2.747 billion resulting to a total trade of $5.088 billion and a trade surplus of $405.65 million.
Merchandise imported from ASEAN member-countries were valued at $1.213 billion, contributing 22.4 percent share and increased by 11.7 percent from $1.086 billion recorded in March 2013. Proceeds from exports to ASEAN member-countries were worth $814.42 million, resulting to a total trade of $2.028 billion and a trade deficit of $398.70 million.
Imports from European Union were priced at $712.79 million. It increased by 72.7 percent compared to a year ago value of $412.66 million. Exports to member-countries of European Union were worth $615.50 million, resulting to a total trade of $1.328 billion and a trade deficit of $97.3 million.
Starting with the February 2007 Press Release, analysis and tables are based on the 2004 Philippine Standard Commodity Classification (PSCC) groupings. This is in compliance with NSCB Resolution No. 03, Series of 2005 entitled “Approving and Adopting the 2004 Philippine Standard Commodity Classification” by all concerned government agencies and instrumentalities.
(Sgd) LISA GRACE S. BERSALES