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NEWS UPDATES 26 September 2009

Philippines: Imports slide 2% in July

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Philippines merchandise imports reverted to a negative monthly growth in July, falling 2 percent to $4.03 billion from the $4.11 billion in June, the Philippines Daily Inquirer reported.

Documents from the National Statistics Office (NSO) on the import bill showed that the value of inbound cargoes suffered a setback after rising month-on-month from March to June.

A rise in imports is considered positive because this indicates a similar movement in exports, especially for the Philippines, which relies heavily on foreign supplies of electronics inputs for its biggest source of export revenues.

Imports continued to contract year-on-year and at a faster rate of 31.6 percent from $5.88 billion in July last year, dipping for the 10th straight month since October last year.

This brought the import bill in the first seven months to $24.39 billion, or 31.2-percent less than the $35.45 billion worth of incoming goods in the same period last year.

From January to July, the trade balance settled at a deficit of $3.86 billion, which was less than the $5.39-billion deficit registered in the same period last year.

The balance for July showed a deficit of $715 million, easing from $1.44 billion in the same month a year ago.

NSO documents showed that exports of electronic products, which accounted for 39.8 percent of total imports in July, were down 8.2 percent to $1.6 billion year-on-year from $1.74 billion.

July shipments of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials—which represented the second-biggest subgroup in terms of value—fell 65.7 percent to $610.38 million from $1.781 billion.

Japan was the biggest source of imports in July, accounting for 13.5 percent of total cargoes or $554.45 million, a decrease of 11.2 percent year-on-year.

The United States represented 11.7 percent of cargoes valued at $472.31 million or a 22.1-percent decrease. China shipped 8.8 percent of total imports worth $353.64 million, down by 15 percent.


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