END-NOVEMBER TOTAL TRADE IN GOODS GROW BY 15.5 PERCENT
Total merchandise trade from January to November amounted to $55.863 billion, up by 15.5 percent from $48.369 billion last year. Payments for imported goods grew by 10.6 percent to $32.866 billion from $29.709 billion while receipts from exports rose by 23.2 percent to $22.997 billion from $18.660 billion. The 11-month balance of trade in goods (BOT-G) narrowed by 10.7 percent to $9.869 billion from $11.049 billion in 1996.
Total trade for November alone reached $5.171 billion, or 13.3 percent higher than $4.562 billion last year. Revenues from exports increased by 24.8 percent to $2.308 billion from $1.850 billion while imports rose by 5.6 percent to $2.863 billion from the year-ago level of $2.712 billion. The BOT-G deficit for the month was $554 million which was a 35.7 percent drop from $862 million last year.
ELECTRONICS AND COMPONENTS REMAIN TOP IMPORT
Electronics and Components, accounting for 21.2 percent of total imports, remained as the top import for November. A year-on-year increase in payments of 37.4 percent to $607.56 million from $442.28 million in 1996 was posted. Month-on-month, a 1.6 percent drop from $617.52 million in October 1997 was however noted.
Payments for Telecommunication Equipment and Electrical Machinery amounted to $287.46 million, up by 16.5 percent from $246.68 million last year but lower than the previous month value of $330.23 million by 13.0 percent.
Industrial Machinery and Equipment, which was 8.8 percent of the total, posted a 3.9 percent year-on-year growth as purchases amounted to $251.65 million from $242.23 million in 1996. This commodity group dipped by 8.7 percent from $275.61 million the previous month.
Imports of Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Products decreased by 17.5 percent to $232.34 million from $281.54 million last year. Compared to $329.89 million last October, imports of this commodity slowed down by 29.6 percent.
The import bill for Materials/Accessories Imported on Consignment Basis for the Manufacture of Other Electrical and Electronic Machinery and Equipment amounted to $208.43 million, up by 9.8 percent from $189.83 million last year. This commodity group posted a 1.8 percent month-on-month growth.
Other top imports for the month were: Office and EDP Machines, $139.73 million; Transport Equipment, $112.45 million; Textile Yarn and Fabrics, Made-up Articles and Related Products, $88.50 million; Iron and Steel,$58.72 million; and Plastics in Primary and Non-Primary Forms, $57.06 million.
The combined payments for the top imports reached $2,043.90 million or 71.4 percent of the total.
PAYMENTS FOR CAPITAL GOODS ACCOUNT FOR 42.1 PERCENT
Capital goods, notably Telecommunication Equipment and Electrical Machinery, accounted for 42.1 percent of the imports bill for November as payments grew by 34.6 percent to $1,205.07 million from $895.56 million in 1996. Compared with the October figure, a 7.1 percent decrease was posted for the reference month.
Raw Materials and Intermediate Goods which consist of unprocessed and semi-processed raw materials had a share of 36.3 percent of total imports. Payments for this major commodity group went down by 12.7 percent to $1,040.01 million from $1,191.00 million last year. There was also a 21.4 percent loss from $1,323.49 million the previous month.
Mineral Fuels and Lubricants followed with payments amounting to $232.34 million, down by 17.5 percent from $281.54 million the previous year.
Expenditures for Consumer Goods and Special Transactions combined for $385.31 million or 13.5 percent of the total.
US REGAINS POST AS TOP SOURCE OF IMPORTS
The United States was the top source of imports for November. Payments which accounted for 21.8 percent of the total increased by 8.6 percent to $624.94 million from $575.69 million last year. Exports to the US amounted to $790.39 million, posting a $165.45 million BOT-G surplus.
Japan followed closely as the second biggest supplier of imported goods to the Philippines, accounting for 21.7 percent of the total import. Payments for imported items stood at $620.59 million, which was 4.1 percent less than $646.82 million last year. Receipts from exports reached $371.53 million which resulted in a $249.06 million BOT-G deficit.
Republic of Korea which had 8.8 percent of the total import bill for November was the third biggest source of imported goods valued at $250.42 million, up by 61.2 percent from $155.30 million last year. Value of exports amounted to $35.45 million. The BOT-G deficit stood at $214.97 million.
Accounting for 6.8 percent of the total import bill, Singapore shipped $194.79 million to the Philippines, which was a 35.2 percent increase from $144.03 million a year ago. Exports to Singapore brought in $152.72 million. The BOT-G deficit amounted to $42.07 million.
The following countries were also major suppliers of imports for November: Hongkong, $146.76 million; Taiwan, $140.34 million; Malaysia, $96.59 million; Iran, $87.72 million; Germany, $83.22 million; and Australia, $66.21 million.
Total payments to these ten countries amounted to $2,311.58 million or 80.7 percent of the total.
As of press time 79 out of 44,603 export documents and 58 out of 52,977 import documents are still expected from the ports.