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||26 September 2009
Philippines: Imports slide 2% in July
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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