Imports growth slightly declines to US$4.96B in July-A A +A
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
MANILA -- Merchandise imports dipped to US$4.96 billion in July 2012, a 0.8 percent decline from US$5 billion recorded in July 2011 that also had a 6.7 percent growth, said the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).
"Lower payments for mineral fuels and lubricants and raw materials and intermediate goods weighed down merchandise imports in July 2012," Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.
The decline of petroleum crude imports (-27.9 percent) affected the value of imported mineral fuels and lubricants as it decreased by 12.3 percent to US$1.2 billion in July 2012 from US$1.3 billion in July 2011.
He added that the drop in value of petroleum imports was due to the lower volume of its inward shipments, which declined by 13.6 percent contraction, coupled with the decrease in the price of Dubai crude oil by 9.8 percent to US$ US$99.2 per barrel.
As for the year-on-year decline in total import payments for raw materials and intermediate goods (-2.7 percent), this was due to the contractions in inward shipments of both unprocessed (-2.6 percent) and semi-processed raw materials (-2.8 percent) in July 2012 from the same period last year.
Semi-processed raw inputs includes non-ferrous metals (-47.7 percent), materials/accessories for the manufacture of electrical equipment (-8.5 percent), animal and vegetable oil and fats (-52.3), textile yarns and fabrics (-19.4 percent), and urea (-47.9 percent).
"But it is worth noting that the decline in the value of imported raw inputs for electrical manufactures is actually due to falling electronics prices as volume actually increased (13.7 percent)," said Balisacan, who is also Neda director general.
He also pointed out that the persistent inability of the market to absorb the current levels of production capacity alongside the general sluggishness of the global economy dragged memory chip prices.
However, imports of capital goods grew year-on-year by 10.6 percent and reached US$1.4 billion in July 2012. This was due to the increase in import payments for telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (12.4 percent), power generating and specialized machines (22.5 percent), land transportation equipment (25.9 percent), photographic equipment and optical goods (23.6 percent) and office and EDP machines (3.8 percent).
"Upbeat capital expenditures have been noticeable in the following sectors/subsectors: communications, storage, construction, real estate and utilities (power and water)," Balisacan said.
Meanwhile, for the first seven months of 2012, imports grew by 0.2 percent to US$35.7 billion. With an improving export receipts growth of 7.7 percent, the trade-in-goods deficit stood at US$4.2 billion for the period January to July 2012, lower than the US$6.3 billion deficit in the same period in 2011.
The main source of imported goods for the country in July 2012 was Japan, with 11.6 percent share in the total value of inward shipments. The Republic of China was second with a 10.9 percent of imports share, followed by the USA (10.1 percent), the Republic of Korea (8.5 percent) and Singapore (7.3 percent).
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 27, 2012.