TOTAL TRADE IN GOODS FOR JANUARY POSTS 23.9 PERCENT
Merchandise trade for the first month of 1997 grew by 23.9 percent to $4.529 billion from the year-ago level of $3.656 billion. Export receipts went up by 19.2 percent to $1.692 billion while payments for imports rose by 26.9 percent to $2.837 billion. The balance of trade in goods (BOT-G) was in deficit, increasing by 40.3 percent to $1.145 billion from $816.0 million last year.
ELECTRONICS AND COMPONENTS UP BY 43.8 PERCENT
Accounting for 14.5 percent of the aggregate value of imports for January, payments for Electronics and Components increased by 43.8 percent to close at $411.73 million, up from $286.25 million a year ago. Compared to December 1996 imports bills dropped by 0.8 percent from $415.18 million.
Telecommunication Equipment and Electrical Machinery ranked second with payments reaching $341.21 million, or almost double the year-ago value placed at $170.70 million.
Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials was number three as purchases grew by 52.2 percent to $316.63 million from $208.03 million a year ago. This group accounted for 11.2 percent of total imports.
Industrial Machinery and Equipment was valued at $279.22 million or 15.2 percent higher than $242.37 million a year ago and comprised the fourth biggest group of imports as these accounted for 9.8 percent of the total.
Transport Equipment at number five posted a 44.5 percent upswing in purchases which amounted to $175.85 million compared to $121.66 million a year ago.
Materials/Accessories Imported on Consignment Basis for the Manufacture of Other Electrical and Electronic Machinery and Equipment was valued at $161.98 million and accounted for 5.7 percent of the total. This group posted a 29.9 percent increase from $124.69 million a year ago.
Other top imports for January 1997 were: Textile Yarn, Fabrics, Made-Up Articles and Related Products, $104.33 million; Iron and Steel, $99.21 million; Office and EDP Machines, $85.49 million; and, Plastics in Primary and Non-Primary Forms, $70.91 million.
Payments for the top ten imports for January amounted to $2,046.56 million or 72.1 percent of the total.
RAW MATERIALS AND INTERMEDIATE GOODS SHARE 41.3 PERCENT OF AGGREGATE IMPORTS BILL
Payments for Raw Materials and Intermediate Goods grew by 12.3 percent year-on-year to $1,173.13 million from $1,044.47 million. Importation of semi-processed raw materials increased by 15.7 percent to $1,048.86 million while that of unprocessed raw materials dropped by 9.8 percent to $124.26 million.
The import bill for Capital Goods amounted to $1,039.73 million up by 48.0 percent from $702.73 million in 1996.
A 52.2 percent year-on-year increase in payments was observed for Mineral Fuels reaaching $316.63 million from $208.03 million.
Combined bills for Consumer Goods and for Special Transactions amounted to $307.66 million or 10.8 percent of the total.
US ACCOUNTS FOR 22.9 PERCENT OF MERCHANDISE IMPORTS
The United States emerged as the top source of imported goods for January 1997. Total payments reached $649.02 million or 22.9 percent of the total. Exports to the US amounted to $581.68 million yielding a total merchandise trade figure amounting to $1,230.70 million. A BOT-G deficit was placed at $67.34 million.
Japan, accounting for 20.1 percent of the total expenditures, was the second biggest source of imports. Payments reached $569.10 9 million while receipts from exports amounted to $282.76 million for a two-way merchandise trade value of $851.86 million and a BOT-G balance in favor of Japan placed at $286.34 million.
Singapore was the third top source with payments reaching $157.34 million or 5.6 percent of the total. Exports to Singapore amounted to $105.65 million resulting in a total merchandise trade value of $262.99 million and a BOT-G $51.69 million deficit.
In fourth was Taiwan with payments placed at $148.34 million or a 5.2 percent share. Exports valued at $55.30 million yielded a total merchandise trade value of $203.64 million and a BOT-G deficit in the amount of $93.04 million.
Other major suppliers of imported commodities for January 1997 were: Republic of Korea, $133.87 million; Saudi Arabia, $131.07 million; Hongkong, $116.82 million; Germany, $95.20 million; Australia, $67.85 million; and, Iran, $62.97 million.
Combined value of imports from the top ten sources amounted to $2.132 billion or 75.1 percent of the total.
As of presstime 71 out of 35,990 export documents and 41 out of 48,001 import documents are still expected from ports.