Philippine imports down 3.3% in MarchBy Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The National Statistics Office reported Friday that imports fell 3.3 percent to $5.371 billion in March from $5.553 billion during the same month last year.
Month on month, imports increased 7.5 percent from the $4.996 billion in February. Imports for the first three months of the year went down by 1.5 percent to $15.501 billion in 2012 from $15.732 billion in the first quarter of 2011, NSO said.
Much of the March imports were of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials amounting to $1.543 billion. They registered the highest annual growth rate of 74.4 percent among the top 10 imports from $884.45 million in March 2011. On a monthly basis, imports grew by 53.4 percent from $1.006 billion in February 2012, NSO said.
Electronic products came second with a contraction of 38.7 percent to $1.259 billion in March 2012 from $2.054 billion in March 2011. Semiconductors still had the biggest share of electronic product imports and also decreased 47.1 percent to $928.39 million from $1.755 billion, NSO said.
Japan was the biggest source of imports for March 2012 with 10.9 percent share of the total import bill amounting to $583.43 million. This is 1.3 percent higher than $576.12 million in March 2011.
Exports to Japan amounted to $685.17 million, yielding a two-way trade value of $1.269 billion and a trade surplus for the Philippines of $101.74 million, NSO reported.
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