Home » Customs & Trade » February imports up 4.6%

HIGHER oil prices led the growth in Philippine imports in February, but purchases of electronic components used in manufacturing the country’s key exports slipped, according to data released by the National Statistics Office (NSO). The NSO showed that the country’s purchases from abroad rose 4.6% to $3.36 billion in February from the same month a year ago, as the country’s oil import bill jumped 23.9% to $524.83 million. However, electronic components, which accounted for 48% of imports, declined 1.1% year-on-year to $1.61 billion.In February, export receipts rose 14.8% as sales abroad of the country’s electronic products grew 10%. The government set an 8% growth target for exports this year. The lower import figure for February allowed the Philippines to enjoy an $88-million trade surplus, its first since December 2004. Two-month imports to February were up 4.8% to $7.04 billion while exports jumped 7.5% to $6.77 billion for a trade deficit of $266 million. The United States was the country’s main source of imports in February, cornering 17.1% of the market. However, this is a 9.2% dive during the same month in 2005. Japan followed with a 15.7% share, and Singapore with the third biggest share at 8.7%.Meanwhile, growth in key industries strengthened particularly furniture and fixtures (41.3%), fabricated metal products (27.3%), petroleum products (19.2%), and basic metals (16.2.%). Other sectors that posted positive growth are textiles (15.2%), rubber products (7.1%), beverages (5.5%), paper and paper products (1.7%), food (1.1%), and miscellaneous manufactures (0.2%). Electrical machinery is expected to contribute positively in the near-term as electronic exports started to recover (10.3%) during the same period. Month-on-month growth in electronics production was also highest among the sectors at 24%.

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