Merchandise imports up 6.7% in September.
Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - November 25, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Goods imported by the Philippines rose for a fourth consecutive month in September 2015, the government reported yesterday.

Preliminary data from Philippine Statistics Authority showed $6.2 billion worth of goods was shipped into the country last September, up 6.7 percent from $5.8 billion in same month last year.

“This increase was due to the positive performance of seven out of the top ten major imported commodities for the month,” PSA said in a statement. These include metal products, iron and steel, industrial machinery and equipment, transport equipment, telecommmunications equipment and electrical machinery, electronic goods and miscellaneous manufactured articles.

Imports in the nine months of 2015 amounted to $49.9 billion, growing 2.3 percent from $48.8 in same period last year.

The balance of trade in goods in September registered a $1.2-billion deficit, which means the country was importing more than exporting.

About 74 percent of the total import bill in September at $4.6 billion was already paid.

Inbound shipments of electronic products during the month accounted for 32.3 percent of total import bill, totaling to $1.99 billion. Semiconductors, which had the biggest share among electronic goods, rose 42 percent to $1.6 billion, higher than $1.2 billion in September 2014.

Following the rank in terms of share to the import bill were: transport equipment at $572.4 million; mineral fuel, lubricants and related materials at $565.6 million; industrial machinery and equipment at $470.1 million; and iron and steel at $206.5 million.

Raw materials and intermediate goods amounted to $2.9 billion in September or 44 percent of total imports. Capital goods, on the other hand, accounted for 32.6 percent, rising to $2 billion in September.

China remained the country’s main source of imports at 15.3 percent, with payments recorded at $944.2 million in September. It was followed by the US (11.2 percent), Japan (11.1 percent), Taiwan (8.2 percent) and Korea (7.2 percent).

“Upbeat sentiment from the business sector and an overall improvement in consumer expectations for the coming quarter will likely keep imports afloat, especially those in the manufacturing and construction sectors,” Economic Planning Chief Arsenio M. Balisacan said in a statement yesterday, commenting on the latest imports data.

Balisacan added the improved purchasing power due to low inflation will also keep consumer demand vibrant in the coming months, and will further be boosted by holiday spending.

The National Economic and Development Authority said only the Philippines and Vietnam posted positive imports in September this year among the monitored trade-oriented economies in East and Southeast Asia.

Balisacan also pointed out the country’s economic policies should continue to encourage investments amid the sluggish global growth.

“Continuous improvements in product quality, innovation and infrastructure support to local industries should be sustained in order to elevate the competitiveness of the domestic industries, and make them at par with imported products,” he said.

Balisacan said that local industries can take advantage of lower commodity prices to boost inventory and expand capacity, adding that buying power of consumers especially the poor should be strengthened. (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC BALISACAN BILLION EAST AND SOUTHEAST ASIA ECONOMIC PLANNING CHIEF ARSENIO M GOODS IMPORTS NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY PERCENT PHILIPPINE STATISTICS AUTHORITY PHILIPPINES AND VIETNAM
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