TOTAL TRADE IN GOODS FOR TEN MONTH PERIOD HIT $50.689 BILLION
Total trade from January to October 1997 grew by 15.7 percent to $50.689 billion from $43.807 billion in 1996. Merchandise exports brought in $20.689 billion, up by 23.1 percent from $16.810 billion, while import payments amounted to $30.001 billion, increasing by 11.1 percent from $26.997 billion the previous year. The balance of trade in goods (BOT-G) reached a $9.312 billion deficit level, which was 8.6 percent lower than $10.187 billion in 1996.
For the month of October alone, total trade posted $5.666 billion, $923 million or 19.5 percent higher than $4.743 billion last year. Revenue from exports was recorded at $2.326 billion, or 23.5 percent increase over $1.884 billion, while payments for imports rose by 16.8 percent to $3.340 billion compared to $2.859 billion a year ago. The BOT-G deficit was recorded at $1.014 billion, which was a 4.0 percent increase over $975 million last year.
ELECTRONICS AND COMPONENTS REMAIN TOP IMPORTS
The top import for October 1997 was Electronics and Components with payments amounting to $605.86 million, which was a 66.2 percent increase over $364.46 million and was 18.1 percent of total imports.
Purchases of Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials were recorded at $336.60 million which was 10.1 percent of total imports.
Ranked third was Telecommunication Equipment and Electrical Machinery with payments reaching $327.53 million, which was an increase of 7.9 percent over $303.43 million in 1996. This commodity group accounted for 9.8 percent of the total.
Expenditure for Industrial Machinery and Equipment was reported at $272.04 million, up by 35.8 percent from $200.29 million in 1996 and with a share of 8.1 percent of the total.
Import bills for Materials/Accessories Imported on Consignment Basis for the Manufacture of Other Electrical & Electronic Machinery and Equipment amounted to $202.79 million and increased by 21.2 percent from $167.36 million the previous year.
Rounding up the list of the top imports for October were: Transport Equipment, $150.44 million; Office and EDP Machines, $146.66 million; Textile Yarn, Fabrics, Made-up Articles and Related Products, $109.98 million;Iron and Steel, $94.54 million; and Plastics in Primary and Non-Primary Forms, $89.80 million.
These top ten imports amounted to $2,336.24 million or almost 70.0 percent of total imports.
RAW MATERIALS AND INTERMEDIATE GOODS COMBINE FOR 39.7 PERCENT SHARE TO TOTAL IMPORT
Raw Materials and Intermediate Goods which consist of unprocessed and semi-processed raw materials accounted for 39.7 percent of the imports bill for October 1997. Year-on-year, this commodity group grew by 13.7 percent to $1,325.18 million $1,166.04 million over last year.
Capital Goods came in second place with payments amounting to $1,287.84 million or up by 23.2 percent over $1,045.14 million a year ago.
Mineral Fuel and Lubricant followed with imports amounting to $336.60 million or a year-on-year growth of 24.8 percent over $269.70 million in 1996.
Expenditures for Consumer Goods and Special Transactions combined for $390.50 million or 11.7 percent of total imports.
JAPAN TOP SOURCE OF IMPORTS
Japan, accounting for 21.2 percent of the aggregate bill for October 1997, was the top source of imports despite a 0.7 percent dip in payments to $708.58 million from $713.52 million in 1996. Exports, on the other hand, netted $397.10 million for the reference month. Imports from Japan outpaced exports resulting in a $311.48 million BOT-G deficit.
The United States with a 19.4 percent share was the second ranking supplier of imported goods which amounted to $648.75 million or 15.5 percent increase over $561.65 million a year ago. Exports reached $795.88 million for a BOT-G surplus of $147.13 million.
Republic of Korea, in third place, supplied imported goods valued at $261.43 million, posting a 71.9 percent increase over $152.08 million last year. Value of exports to the Republic of Korea was only $52.00 million and this yielded a $209.43 million BOT-G deficit.
Imports from Singapore amounting to $246.30 million dropped to fourth with a 7.4 percent share of total imports. Exports valued at $146.52 million yielded a total trade figure of $392.82 million and a BOT-G deficit amounting to $99.78 million.
The following countries were also major suppliers of imported goods for October: Taiwan, $154.49 million; Hongkong, $145.41 million; Saudi Arabia, $124.07 million; Malaysia, $106.72 million; Australia, $99.33 million; andGermany, $94.13 million.
Total payments to these ten countries amounted to $2,589.21 million or 77.5 percent of total imports.
As of press time 87 out of 43,876 export documents and 61 out of 61,003 import documents are still expected from the ports.