Imports up 10.1% in May | Inquirer Business

Imports up 10.1% in May

5-month total still down by 1.9% to $25.66B
/ 01:05 AM July 26, 2012

Philippine imports rose 10.1 percent in May to $5.386 billion from $4.893 billion a year ago, according to the National Statistics Office.

This followed a 13.6-percent weakening in imports in April, the sharpest decline so far this year. Imports dropped 3.2 percent in January, grew 2.5 percent in February, then dipped 3.3 percent in March.



Month on month, May imports increased 12.8 percent to $4.773 billion.

This brought total imports for the first five months of the year to $25.66 billion, down 1.9 percent from $26.15 billion in the same period last year.

Total external trade for May reached $10.318 billion, a 14.5 percent increase from $9.011 billion recorded during the same month in 2011. This was due to the 10.1 percent jump in imports.


Earlier, NSO reported that exports increased by 19.7 percent in May to $4.932 billion from $4.119 billion a year ago.

The country posted a trade deficit of $454 million in May from $774 million in the same month last year.

Electronics imports, which accounted for about a fourth of the total inbound shipments, slid 15.3 percent to $1.44 billion in May from $1.7 billion in the same month last year. However, this was up 9.3 percent from $1.318 billion in April.

Semiconductors, which make up the bulk of electronics, were down 22.6 percent to $1.101 billion from $1.422 billion from a year ago.

Importation of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials posted the highest annual growth rate of 88.1 percent to $1.290 billion from $685.91 million in May last year.

Rounding up the top three imports is transport equipment, valued at $367.73 million, up 68.8 percent from $217.79 million a year ago.

The United States was still the Philippines’ top source of imports in May accounting for $652.26 million. This, however, represents a 1.1-percent decline from $659.83 million last year.

The other top sources of imports were China ($597.07 million, up 14.9 percent), Korea ($565.96 million, up 58.8 percent), Japan ($484.39 million, up 1.8 percent) and Taiwan ($476.61 percent, up 37.2 percent).

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Peter Lee U, dean of the University of Asia and the Pacific School of Economics, said that except electronics, other imports should grow because of strong domestic consumption and production, especially with the stronger peso.

TAGS: imports, Philippines, Trade

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