TOTAL TRADE IN GOODS POSTS 15.2 PERCENT INCREASE
The merchandise trade increased by 15.2 percent as two-way trade transactions for the first seven months of 1997 reached $34.269 billion from $29.744 billion during the same period in 1996. Imports rose by 11.0 percent to $20.501 billion from $18.468 billion while exports grew by 22.1 percent to $13.767 billion from $11.276 billion. The balance of trade in goods (BOT-G) resulted in a deficit of $6.734 billion which was down by 6.4 percent from $7.192 billion a year ago.
Imports for the month of July 1997 increased by 11.8 percent to $3.174 billion from $2.839 billion while exports grew by 22.0 percent to $2.067 billion from $1.694 billion. Total trade valued at $5.241 billion climbed by 15.6 percent from $4.533 billion last year. The BOT-G deficit for the month was $1.107 million, representing a -3.3 percent drop from $1.145 billion last year. This was the fifth consecutive month of decline of the deficit.
IMPORTS OF ELECTRONICS AND COMPONENTS ACCOUNT FOR 16.9 PERCENT
Payments for Electronics and Components accounted for 16.9 percent of the aggregate import bill for the month valued at $536.20 million, which increased by 64.7 percent from $325.52 million in 1996. Bulk of the shipments came from the United States.
Telecommunication Equipment and Electrical Machinery went to number two from third place last month as purchases grew by 47.0 percent to $392.69 million from $267.21 million last year.
Payments for Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials, accounting for 8.7 percent of the aggregate bill, grew by 8.4 percent to $276.81 million from $255.31 million a year ago.
Industrial Machinery and Equipment with an 8.1 percent share of the total recorded purchases of $258.01 million for a -8.7 percent drop from $282.72 million last year.
Transport Equipment, accounting for 4.9 percent of the total, was the fifth top import for the month reporting purchases valued at $155.27 million or 57.4 percent lower than the previous level of $364.72 million.
At sixth, Office and EDP Machines amounted to $146.28 million or 99.7 percent higher than $73.26 million last year.
Rounding up the list of the top imports for July 1997 were: Materials/Accessories Imported on Consignment Basis for the Manufacture of Other Electrical and Electronic Machinery and Equipment, $138.86 million;Textile Yarn, Fabrics, Made-up Articles and Related Products, $105.37 million; Iron and Steel, $101.72 million; and Power Generating and Specialized Machinery, $88.52 million.
Aggregate payment for the top ten imports for the month amounted to $2,199.73 million or 69.3 percent of total imports.
CAPITAL GOODS SHARE 40.5 PERCENT OF TOTAL IMPORTS BILL
Accounting for 40.5 percent of the total cost of merchandise imports for the month, payments for Capital Goods grew by 16.4 percent to $1.286 billion, up from $1.104 billion last year.
Raw Materials and Intermediate Goods followed with payments amounting to $1.237 billion, 8.7 percent higher than $1.138 billion in 1996.
Mineral Fuel and Lubricants trailed with payments placed at $276.81 million, or an 8.4 percent increase from $255.31 million last year. This group's share of the total bill was 8.7 percent.
Expenditures for the two other commodity groups, Consumer Goods and Special Transactions, combined for $374.17 million or 11.8 percent of the total.
JAPAN BACK AS TOP SOURCE OF IMPORTS
With a 21.3 percent share, Japan emerged as the top source of imported merchandise for the month. Payments grew by 7.7 percent year-on-year to $677.06 million from $628.45 million in 1996. Exports to Japan, on the other hand, amounted to $370.58 million for a total trade value of $1,047.64 million and a BOT-G deficit valued at $306.48 million.
The United States with a 19.6 percent share was the second biggest source of foreign-made goods. Payments reached $620.44 million, up by 15.7 percent from $536.08 million last year, while receipts from exports reached $758.37 million for a total trade of $1,378.81 million. A BOT-G surplus was placed at $137.93 million.
Imports from Singapore amounting to $200.83 million followed with a 6.3 percent slice of the aggregate bill. Exports valued at $145.87 million resulted in a total trade figure of $346.70 million and a BOT-G deficit amounting to $54.96 million.
The fourth biggest source was the Republic of Taiwan which sold $160.15 million worth of merchandise, 14.3 percent higher than $140.16 million last year. Receipts from exports amounted to $77.42 million for a total trade value of $237.57 million and a BOT-G deficit placed at $82.73 million.
Republic of Korea followed with import payments amounting to $159.07 million. Exports reached $37.54 million resulting to a total trade of $196.61 million and a BOT-G deficit of $121.53 million.
Other major sources of foreign-made goods for July were: Hongkong, $132.62 million; Germany, $115.38 million; Saudi Arabia, $91.13 million; Thailand, $91.04 million; and People's Republic of China, $86.69 million.
Total payment to these ten countries amounted to $2,334.41 million, 73.6 percent of the total.
As of presstime 98 out of 45,675 export documents and 82 out of 60,815 import documents are still expected from the ports.