Eight-Month Total Trade in Goods Grows by 16.8 Percent
Merchandise trade for the first eight months grew by 16.0 percent to $39.809 billion, an increase of $5.491 billion from $34.318 billion a year earlier. Payments for imported goods went up by 11.8 percent to $23.784 billion from $21.268 billion while receipts from exports increased by 22.8 percent to $16.025 billion from $13.050 billion. The balance of trade in goods (BOT-G) deficit narrowed down by 5.6 percent to $7.759 billion from $8.218 billion in 1996.
Aggregate trade value for August alone stood at $5.545 billion or 21.2 percent higher than $4.574 billion last year. Revenue from exports improved by 27.3 percent to $2.258 billion from $1.774 billion while imports increased by 17.4 percent to $3.287 billion from $2.800 billion. The BOT-G deficit for the month was $1.029 million, representing a 0.3 percent increase from $1.026 billion the previous year.
Electronics and Components Lead Imports
Electronics and Components accounting for 14.2 percent of the total imports bill remained the top import for August 1997 as payments rose to $466.37 million or 23.4 percent higher than $377.83 million in 1996. Compared to July, purchases dropped by 13.4 percent from $538.41 million.
Transport Equipment emerged as the second top import as expenditures rose to $349.14 million, an increase of 85.2 percent from $188.48 million. The purchase of aircrafts worth $185.70 million accounted for 53.2 percent of this import group.
Telecommunication Equipment and Electrical Machinery accounting for 9.6 percent of the total payments moved to number three from second despite a 25.0 percent increase to $315.24 million from $252.16 million a year earlier.
Industrial Machinery and Equipment remained as the fourth top import for August with $291.67 million, a 1.8 percent increase over $286.45 million last year.
Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials was in fifth place, posting a 2.7 percent increase to $270.52 million from $263.36 million.
Imports of Iron and Steel ranked sixth with a value of $169.62 million which grew by 8.2 percent over $156.78 million last year.
Other major imports were: Materials/Accessories Imported on Consignment Basis for the Manufacture of Other Electrical and Electronic Machinery and Equipment, $160.44 million; Office and EDP Machines, $127.93 million; Textile Yarn, Fabrics, Made-up Articles and Related Products, $106.25 million; and Plastics in Primary and Non-Primary Forms, $77.73 million.
Value for the top ten imports for August 1997 reached $2,334.91 million or 71.0 percent of the total.
Value of Capital Goods Reach $1.342 Billion
Capital Goods accounting for 40.8 percent of the total merchandise imports grew by $430.70 million or 47.2 percent to $1.342 billion from $911.69 million a year earlier.
Payments for Raw Materials and Intermediate Goods stood at $1.313 billion or up by almost 3.0 percent from $1.276 billion during the same month.
Consumer Goods followed with purchases amounting to $270.98 million, 6.4 percent higher than $254.74 million in 1996.
Import bills for the two other commodity groups, Mineral Fuel and Lubricants and Special Transactions, combined for $361.11 million or 11.0 percent of the total.
Japan Remains as Top source of Imports
Japan with a 19.5 percent share of the imports bill remained as the main source of imported merchandise posting $642.43 million or almost 8.0 percent higher than $594.89 million in 1996. Exports to Japan reached $355.81 million for a two-way trade value of $998.24 million and a BOT-G deficit for the Philippines amounting to $286.62 million.
The number two source of foreign-made goods was the United States with a 16.7 percent share. Payments stood at $549.40 million, up by 11.4 percent from $493.02 million. Receipts from exports amounted to $829.42 million for a total trade of $1,378.82 million, posting a BOT-G surplus of $280.02 million.
Imports from the Republic of Korea valued at $191.59 million or 5.8 percent of the total was the third biggest for the month. Exports worth $43.70 million yielded a total trade value of $235.29 million and a BOT-G deficit amounting to $147.89 million.
Value of imported goods from Singapore was placed at $177.39 million, or 10.3 percent higher than $160.78 million last year. Receipts for exports amounted to $140.14 million and a BOT-G deficit placed at $37.25 million.
Following in fifth place was France with total imports of $169.93 million, a 556.4 percent increase from $25.89 million a year ago. This significant growth was brought about by the purchase of aircrafts from this country.
Other major sources of imported commodities for August were: Taiwan, $154.96 million; Hongkong, $131.57 million; Germany, $104.95 million; Iran, $100.33 million; and Malaysia, $90.31 million.
Total payments to these ten trading partners amounted to $2,312.86 million or 70.4 percent of the total imports value.
As of presstime 101 out of 47,035 export documents and 89 out of 52,382 import documents are still expected from the ports.