• PH June imports slumps by 4.8% compared last year

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    The Philippines’ total imports for June this year slid by 4.8 percent, attributing to the negative import growths on the majority of commodities mostly imported by the country, data from the National Statistics Office (NSO) said.

    The NSO indicated that the country’s June imports “went down” from $5.1 billion last year to $4.9 billion this year: a $2-million reduction from total export of June 2012 to June 2013.

    “Similarly, [imports also]decreased by 7.6 percent from $5.258 billion compared to previous month’s level,” the NSO said, referring to easing of imports from the month of May to June.

    The agency explained that six out of 10 most imported commodities, also known as major commodity groups, had negative imports growth for the whole year—June 2012 to June 2013.

    The six commodity groups with decreased import growths include transport equipment; electronic products; cereals and cereal preparations; telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery; iron and steel; and plastics in primary and non-primary forms.

    The NSO based the declining performance of the six commodities to the collective descent of the imports of the six commodities, showing a 3.8-percent dip from the $30.8 billion of the first six months of 2012 to the $29.6 billion of the same time this year.

    The other four increased, with only mineral fuels, lubricants and other fuel materials having a good ascent by 30 percent, while the other three—other food and live animals; industrial machinery and equipment; and organic and inorganic chemicals—increased slightly by 2 to 6 percent.

    Electronic products account for the most imported commodity, having a share of 22.6 percent from the total June imports based on net payments. It amounted to a total of $1.1 billion of the import payments, but dropped by 24.8 percent from last year’s $1.5 billion and 14.3 percent from last month’s $1.3 billion.

    Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and related materials followed, with 21.9-percent contribution to the total imports having a total of $1.1 billion worth of imports, as well as transport equipment with 8.7 percent to $424 million; industrial machinery and equipment with 6.4 percent to $312.5 million; and other food and live animals with 3.3 percent share to $161.5 million.

    The data also showed that the Philippine imports were mostly sourced in China, having “14.1 percent share of the total import bill” which was up by 25.8 percent compared to last year from $544.9 million to $685.2 million.

    Other countries where the Philippines get most imports include Japan with 9.3-percent share, United States including Alaska and Hawaii with 9.2 percent, Singapore with 8 percent and Taiwan with 7.5 percent. The other five countries in the top 10 import source of the country include Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.

    In terms of region, East Asia ranked first as source of imports in the country, which “accounted for 40.3 percent of the country’s total imports with total payments of $1.9 billion.”

    East Asia was followed by the Association of Southeast Asian Countries (Asean) with 23.1-percent share having gross imports of $1.1 billion, and then European Union with $473.6 million. KRISTYN NIKA M. LAZO

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