External Trade Performance : December 1997

26 February 1998



Total merchandise trade for the whole year of 1997 increased by 15.5 percent to $61.164 billion from $52.970 billion in 1996. Export earnings rose by 22.8 percent to $25.228 billion from $20.543 while imports went up by 10.8 percent to $35.936 billion from $32.427 billion. The 12-month resulting balance of trade in goods (BOT-G) decreased by 9.9 percent to $10.708 billion from $11.884 billion last year.

Total trade for December 1997 stood at $5.025 billion, up by 9.2 percent from $4.602 billion a year ago. Exports grew by 18.5 percent to $2.231 billion from $1.883 a year earlier. Imports increased by 2.8 percent to $2.795 billion from $2.718 billion. The BOT-G deficit which was pegged at $564 million went down by 32.4 percent from $835 million in 1996.


Electronics and Components led imports with payments amounting to $554.43 million, up by 33.5 percent from $415.18 million a year ago. Accounting for 19.8 of the total imports, the month-on-month growth was 8.8 percent lower than $607.85 million in November .

Payments for Industrial Machinery and Equipment amounted to $268.25 million, up by 9.4 percent from $245.23 million last year and accounted for 9.6 percent of the total payments. Imports for December exceeded the November figure by 5.9 percent.

Telecommunications Equipment and Electrical Machinery ranked third with payments which amounted to $263.52 million in December, up by 3.3 percent from $255.19 million a year ago; but 8.0 percent lower than the November value of $286.42 million. This commodity group had a 9.4 percent share to total imports.

Imports of Mineral fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials decreased by 18.8 percent to $235.60 million in December from $290.02 million the previous year.

Materials/Accessories Imported on Consignment Basis for the Manufacture of Other Electrical and Electronic Machinery and Equipment, which was 7.8 percent of the total, posted a 6.5 percent increase from $204.78 million last November.

Transport Equipment, accounting for 5.3 percent of the total imports, recorded a 9.9 percent drop to $148.17 million from $164.38 million a year ago, and a 23.1 percent decrease from $192.76 million last November.

Other top ten imports for December 1997 were: Office and EDP Machines, $140.24 million; Textile Yarn and Fabrics, Made-up Articles and Related Products, $83.51 million; Iron and Steel, $66.52 million; and Cereals and Cereal Preparations, $66.23 million.

Total payments for these top ten principal imports amounted to $2,044.51 million, comprising 73.2 percent of the total imports.


Capital goods led by Transport Equipment posted a 29.4 percent growth to $1,187.41 million from $917.96 million a year ago, accounting for 42.5 percent of the total import bill for December 1997. This major commodity group decreased month-on-month by 7.7 percent.

Payments for Raw Materials and Intermediate Goods comprised of unprocessed and semi-processed items amounted to $1,041.38 million, about 11.0 percent lower than the December 1996 level of $1,169.58 million. This major commodity group represented 37.3 percent of total imports.

Import bills for Mineral Fuel and Lubricant reached $235.60 million in December, down by 18.8 percent from $290.02 million last year. Consumer Goods and Special Transactions combined for $330.20 million or 11.8 percent of total imports.


Japan emerged as the top source of imported goods valued at $591.99 million which decreased by 9.9 percent from $657.25 million a year ago and represented 21.2 percent of total import payments. Exports to Japan reached $316.95 million resulting in a BOT-G deficit of $275.04 million.

United States followed as the second largest supplier of imported commodities accounting for 20.7 percent of the total imports. Payments stood at $578.85 million, a 7.3 percent rise over $539.33 million a year ago. Exports to United States reached $770.01 million, posting a $191.16 million BOT-G surplus.

Republic of Korea was third with imports of $199.15 million, up by 40.2 percent from $142.06 million last year. Inflows from exports of goods to South Korea amounted to $39.54 million resulting in a trade deficit of $159.61 million.

Singapore placed fourth with payments amounting to $172.43 million, which was a 4.5 percent increase over $165.07 million a year ago. Export receipts amounted to $141.04 million, resulting in a $31.39 million BOT-G deficit.

Other major suppliers of imported products were: Taiwan, $159.01 million; Hongkong, $110.56 million; Australia, $86.78 million; Malaysia, $82.16 million; Indonesia, $77.15 million; and Germany, $71.56 million.

Value of imports from these ten major import partners amounted to $2,129.64 million or 76.2 percent of the total.


As of presstime 63 out of 42,193 export documents and 48 out of 50,317 import documents are still expected from ports.


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