TOTAL Philippine imports for the first seven months of the year increased 4.1% to $30.355 billion from $29.160 billion, according to the National Statistics Office (NSO).
Exports grew at a faster pace of 6.3% to $28.725 billion from $27.029 billion during the same period compared to last year.
For July alone, imports rose 14.3% to $5.042 billion from $4.412 billion in July 2006 while exports grew 4.3% to $4.188 billion from last year’s $4.016 billion. This brought total merchandise trade for July 2007 to $9.230 billion from $8.429 billion, up 9.5% and the highest growth recorded during 2007, according to the NSO.
Import receipts from electronic products hit $2.152 billion, up 12.8% from $1.907 billion of July 2006. They made up for 42.7% of the aggregate import bill.
Representing 20.4% of the total import bill and second most imported commodities for July 2007 were mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials. Imports for these items reached $1.030 billion over the previous year’s $713.7.69 million, or a 44.3% growth.
Industrial machinery and equipment were the third top import for July 2007, reaching $190.13 million from last year’s $189.60 million, up 0.3%.
The US remained the lead source of Philippine imports, eating up 12.5% of the total import bill. US imports grew to $631.03 million from $700.09 million in July 2006, or a 9.9% drop. Exports to the US, on the other hand, hit $767.95 million, yielding a two-way trade value of $1.399 billion and a trade surplus for the Philippines at $136.93 million, according to the NSO.
Rounding up the top five import sources for July were Japan ($567.56 million from $582.89 million in July 2006), Saudi Arabia ($561.98 million from $133.94 million), Singapore ($530.80 million), and China ($383.93 million).