TRADE DEFICIT DROPS 34.8 PERCENT YEAR-ON-YEAR
The balance of trade-in-goods (BOT-G) deficit for April 1997 dropped by 34.8 percent to $860 million from $1.319 billion year back as aggregate bills from imported goods posted a slower growth rate compared to revenue from merchandise exports. Imports valued at $2.942 billion grew by 4.7 percent from $2.811 billion, while exports rose by 39.5 percent to $2.082 billion from $1.492 billion in 1996. Total trade went up by 16.8 percent to $5.024 billion from $4.303 billion last year.
Cumulative BOT-G for the first four months, while still at a deficit level, posted a 5.9 percent decline settling at $3.753 billion from $3.990 billion a year ago. Imports for the period valued at $11.342 billion, increased by 11.6 percent from $10.167 billion while exports moved up by 22.8 percent to $7.588 billion from $6.177 billion. Total trade-in-goods, on the other hand, went up by 15.8 percent to $18.930 billion from $16.344 billion in 1996.
ELECTRONICS AND COMPONENTS POST 3.5 PERCENT DECLINE
Purchases of Electronics and Components, representing 13.6 percent of the aggregate import bills for April, posted a 3.5 percent drop but remained at the top with payments valued at $399.10 million down by $14.66 million from $413.76 million in 1996.
Telecommunication Equipment and Electrical Machinery, with an 11.4 percent share, emerged as the second biggest import posting a 51.2 percent increase as payments amounted to $334.10 million from $220.96 million last year.
Industrial Machinery and Equipment, accounting for 10.1 percent of the total, recorded purchases placed at $297.09 million for a 21.7 percent rise over $244.17 million last year.
Transport Equipment, accounting for 7.2 percent of the total, emerged as the fourth top import reporting purchases valued at $211.19 million or 30.8 percent lower than the previous level of $305.19 million.
Payments for Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials, accounting for 6.4 percent of the aggregate bill, dropped by 27.4 percent to $187.60 million from $258.28 million.
Materials/Accessories Imported on Consignment Basis for the Manufacture of Other Electrical and Electronic Machinery and Equipment accounted for 5.0 percent of the total bill as payments reached $147.31 million, down by 16.6 percent from $176.70 million in 1996.
Rounding up the list of the top imports for April 1997 were: Iron and Steel, $121.58 million; Textile Yarn, Fabrics, Made-up Articles and Related Products, $120.33 million; Office and EDP Machines, $96.19 million; andCereals and Cereal Preparations, $94.67 million.
Aggregate payments for the top ten imports for the month amounted to $2,009.16 million or 68.3 percent of the total bill.
BILL FOR CAPITAL GOODS GROWS BY 4.5 PERCENT
Payments for Raw Materials and Intermediate Goods, accounting for 42.5 percent of the aggregate bill, grew by 4.5 percent to $1.249 billion from $1.196 billion. Compared to last month, however, payments for this major import group dropped by 6.3 percent from $1.332 billion.
Capital Goods, again led by Telecommunication Equipment and Power Generating and Specialized Machinery, followed with payments amounting to $1.089 billion, which was 17.2 percent higher than $928.67 million in 1996.
Payments for Consumer Goods, accounting for 10.8 percent of the total, dropped by 6.6 percent to $318.45 million from $340.96 million in 1996.
IMPORTS FROM JAPAN ACCOUNT FOR 22.0 PERCENT
Japan, accounting for 22.0 percent of the aggregate import bill, reported shipments amounting to $648.03 million which was a 13.9 percent increase from the previous level of $568.92 million. Exports to Japan, on the other hand, amounted to $325.51 million for a total trade-in-goods value of $973.54 million and a BOT-G deficit valued at $322.52 million.
With an 18.7 percent share, the United States emerged as the second biggest source of foreign-made goods. Payments reached $550.07 million, down by 11.9 percent from $624.37 million last year while receipts from exports amounted to $708.06 million for a total trade-in-goods value of $1,258.13 million. A resulting BOT-G surplus was placed at $157.99 million.
The third biggest source was the Republic of Korea which sold $152.98 million worth of merchandise, 13.3 percent higher than $135.05 million last year. Receipts from exports amounted to $39.70 million for a total trade-in-goods value of $192.68 million and a BOT-G deficit placed at $113.28 million.
Imports from Singapore amounting to $152.91 million had a 5.2 percent share of the aggregate bill. Exports valued at $166.92 million resulted in a total trade-in-goods figure of $319.83 million and a BOT-G surplus amounting to $14.01 million.
Taiwan followed with import payments amounting to $148.89 million. Exports reached $79.95 million resulting in a total trade-in-goods value of $228.84 million and a BOT-G deficit of $68.94 million.
Other major sources of foreign-made goods for April were: Hongkong, $138.27 million; Germany, $115.56 million; Australia, $85.00 million; People's Republic of China, $81.02 million; and Netherlands, $73.25 million.
Total payments to these ten countries amounted to $2,145.98 million, 72.9 percent of the total import value.
As of presstime 82 out of 43,430 export documents and 56 out of 55,237 import documents were still expected from the ports.