Latest Stories

Imports fell 5.8% in February to $4.71B

Economist says data suggest weakness in future exports


The country’s merchandise imports fell 5.8 percent to $4.71 billion last February from $5 billion in the same month last year, the National Statistics Office reported yesterday. This was the second consecutive monthly drop after the 8-percent contraction in January.

Total imports for the first two months of 2013 declined by 6.9 percent to $9.44 billion from $10.13 billion a year ago. Three major exports continued to contract–mineral fuels, lubricants and related products by 8.2 percent; transport equipment by 9.1 percent, and metal ores and scraps by 32.7 percent.

“For the period, electronic product imports declined to $2.39 billion from $2.76 billion in 2012 or by 13.3 percent. This development doesn’t augur well for Philippine exports,” said Benjamin Diokno of the UP School of Economics. Diokno said this suggested the external trade sector would continue to experience weakness in the first quarter.

Economic growth for the first quarter might have to rely heavily on domestic factors, Diokno added. “In the light of these actual numbers representing one-sixth of potential total imports for the year, my previous forecast of 7-percent imports growth for 2013 is more likely than the government’s revised forecast of 12 percent,” Diokno said.

For February alone, NSO said that eight of 10 major commodity groups contracted–transport equipment; organic and inorganic chemicals; plastics in primary and non-primary forms; electronic products; iron and steel; telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery; industrial machinery and equipment, and other food and live animals.

Electronics imports in February amounted to $1.25 billion, down 12.6 percent from $1.43 billion. Among the major groups of electronic products, semiconductors decreased by 10.5 percent to $948.99 million last February from $1.06 billion a year ago. Mineral fuels, lubricants and related products grew 20.2 percent, transport equipment dropped 31.1 percent, industrial machinery and equipment shrank 5.2 percent, other food and live animals fell 2.1 percent.

The United States was the country’s biggest source of imports (comprising electronic products, feeding stuff for animals and wheat) for February, growing 0.8 percent to $547.43 million from $542.92 million a year ago. Imports from China, made up of mineral products and telecommunication equipment, grew 21.7 percent to $542.44 million. Imports from Japan, mostly semiconductors, contracted 33.4 percent to $444.38 million. Imports from Singapore (mainly mineral fuels, lubricants and semiconductors) dropped 1.9 percent to $415.9 million.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Business , economic contraction , imports

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Man wins half marathon, dies in Argentina
  • Clouds to bring slight relief from summer heat
  • Canadians rally to legalize marijuana
  • S. Korea ferry transcript reveals evacuation panic
  • Obama, family cause a small stir at Easter service
  • Sports

  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Persistence pays off for The 1975
  • Business

  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Bourse to woo Cebu stock mart investors
  • Supper power
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Marketplace