END-FEBRUARY TOTAL TRADE POSTS 17.9 PERCENT ANNUAL GAIN
Total trade for the first two months of 1997 amounted to $8.969 billion, an increase of 17.9 percent over $7.610 billion recorded during the same period in 1996. Payments for imported goods increased by 18.9 percent to $5.464 billion from $4.596 billion while receipts from exports improved by 16.3 percent to $3.505 billion from $3.014 billion. The balance of trade in goods (BOT-G) was in deficit increasing by 23.9 percent to $1.960 billion from $1.582 billion from last year.
Total trade for February alone stood at $4.439 billion, 12.3 percent higher than the $3.954 billion last year. Revenue from exports improved by 13.7 percent increasing to $1.812 billion from $1.594 billion while imports increased by 11.3 percent to $2.626 billion from $2.360 billion. Deficit for the month was $814.0 million, representing a 6.3 percent increase from last year's $766.0 million.
ELECTRONICS AND COMPONENTS ACCOUNT FOR 17.9 PERCENT OF TOTAL IMPORTS BILL
Posting a 42.4 percent increase, Electronics and Components accounted for 17.9 percent of the aggregate bill as payments rose to $471.41 million from $330.96 million last year.
Payments for Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials, accounting for 9.2 percent of the total, decreased by 9.3 percent to $241.03 million from $265.75 million in 1996.
Telecommunication Equipment and Electrical Machinery was number three with payments reaching $236.97 million, an increase of 12.6 percent from $210.40 million a year ago.
Industrial Machinery and Equipment with an 8.2 percent share, recorded purchases placed at $216.56 million for a slight 0.2 percent uptick over last year's $216.22 million.
Materials and Accessories Imported on Consignment Basis for the Manufacture of Other Electrical and Electronic Machinery and Equipment accounted for 6.5 percent of the total bill as payments reached $169.70 million, up by 50.2 percent over $113.02 million in 1996.
Transport Equipment, accounting for 6.1 percent of the total, emerged as the sixth top import with a combined value of $160.24 million or 9.7 percent lower than the previous level which stood at $177.47 million. Rounding up the list of the top imports for February 1997 were: Power Generating and Specialized Machinery, $110.99 million; Iron and Steel, $101.45 million; Office and EDP Machines, $93.69 million; and, Textile Yarn, Fabrics, Made-up Articles and Related Products, $91.57 million.
Aggregate payment for the top ten imports for the month amounted to $1,893.61 million or 72.1 percent of the total bill.
RAW MATERIALS AND INTERMEDIATE GOODS VALUED AT $1.165 BILLION
Raw Materials and Intermediate Goods consisting of unprocessed raw materials and semi-processed raw materials accounted for 44.4 percent of the total imports bill for the month as payments for these commodity group grew by 16.5 percent year-on-year to $1.165 billion from $1.000 billion.
Capital Goods, notably Telecommunication Equipment and Power Generating and Specialized Machinery, followed with payments amounting to $932.76 million, 23.4 percent higher than 1996's $755.98 million.
Mineral Fuel and Lubricant followed with payments placed at $241.03 million, or a 9.2 percent decrease from last year's $265.75 million. Its share of the total bill was 9.2 percent.
Expenditures for the two other commodity groups, Consumer Goods and Special Transactions, combined for $287.24 million or 10.9 percent of the total.
JAPAN NOW TOP SOURCE OF IMPORTS
Japan, accounting for 23.4 percent of the aggregate bill for February, regained the top spot, dislodging the United States, the top source of imports last month. Payments grew 30.0 percent year-on-year to $615.88 million from $473.74 million in 1996. Exports to Japan, on the other hand, amounted to $325.54 million for a total trade value of $941.42 million and a BOT-G deficit for RP valued at $290.34 million.
The United States with a 20.2 percent share, was the second biggest source of foreign-made goods. Payments reached $530.00 million, up by 19.3 percent from $444.22 million last year while receipts from exports reached $651.94 million for a total trade of $1,181.94 million. A BOT-G surplus was placed at $121.94 million.
Imports from Singapore amounting to $140.20 million followed with a 5.3 percent slice of the aggregate bill. Exports valued at $114.92 million resulted to a total trade figure of $255.12 million and a BOT-G deficit amounting to $25.28 million.
Fourth biggest source was the Republic of Korea which sold $139.77 million worth of merchandise to the Philippines, 11.0 percent higher than $125.90 million last year. Receipts from exports amounted to $23.14 million for a total trade value of $162.91 million and a BOT-G deficit placed at $116.63 million.
Heavy oil importations brought Saudi Arabia to the fifth slot with payments amounting to $126.21 million, or a 22.1 percent decline from $162.10 million last year. Exports to Saudi Arabia amounted to $2.37 million yielding a two-way trade value of $128.58 million and a BOT-G deficit placed at $123.84 million.
Taiwan followed with import payments amounting to $125.04 million. Exports reached $66.97 million resulting to a total trade of $192.01 million and a BOT-G deficit of $58.07 million.
Other major sources of foreign-made goods for February were: Hongkong, $98.57 million; Germany, $83.16 million; Australia, $79.59 million; and Iran, $59.30 million.
Total payments to these top ten countries amounted to $1,997.72 million, 76.1 percent of the total.
As of presstime 69 out of 38,481 export documents and 44 out of 48,874 import documents are still expected from the ports.