Phl imports drop 8% in January
Joefel Ortega Banzon (The Freeman) - March 27, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Philippine imports dropped 8.0 percent in January reaching only $4.725 billion from $5.134 billion recorded during the same month in 2012, the latest report from the National Statistics Office showed.

This is said to be the biggest drop in imports since April 2012 when Philippine imports fell 13.6 percent.

This fall in imports was due to the declining purchases of products such as lubricants, mineral fuels and similar products; organic and inorganic chemicals; electronic products and plastics in primary and non-primary forms.

Compared to the previous month’s level, the country’s imports have dropped by 10.9 percent from $5.300 billion. 

Accounting for 24.4 percent of the aggregate import bill, payments for electronic products in January 2013 reached $1.150 billion, which is 14.4 percent lower than last year’s figure of $1.344 billion.

Semiconductors, which make up the biggest share of 17.6 percent among the electronics group, have decreased by 17.7 percent from $1.007 billion to $829.46 million.

The volume of shipments for electronics however went up by 13.7 percent.

Following the electronics group, the country’s top 10 imported products also include mineral fuels, lubricants (19.6 percent share),  transport equipment (7.8 percent share),  industrial machinery and equipment contributing 5.6 percent,  and other food and live animals with 3.0 percent share to the total imports.

Rounding up the list of the top 10 imports for January 2013 were iron and steel,  plastics in primary and non-primary forms, organic and inorganic chemicals, cereals and cereal preparations, and feeding stuff for animals.

Aggregate payment for the country’s top 10 imports for January 2013 reached $3.461 billion or 73.3 percent of the total import bill.

For January 2013, the country’s biggest source of imports was the People’s Republic of China, which accounted for 13.1 percent share of the total import bill, an increase of 15.2 percent to $616.98 million from $535.63 million in January 2012.

The second biggest source of imports for the Philippines was the United States of America including Alaska and Hawaii with 10.8 percent share. Other sources of imports include Japan including Okinawa accounting for 8.9 percent share,  Republic of Korea settled fourth accounting for 8.6 percent share,  Taiwan, representing 7.1 percent of the total import bill in January 2013, Singapore with 6.6 percent, Thailand with 5.2 percent, Saudi Arabia with 5.0 percent, Russian Federation with 4.9 percent, and Indonesia with 3.6 percent .

Payments for imports from the top 10 sources for January 2013 amounted to $3.482 billion or 73.7 percent of the total. – (FREEMAN)

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