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Imports up 19.7% in November

Imports up 19.7% in November

MANILA: Philippine imports increased in November, following growth of orders in iron and steel; transport equipment and industrial machinery, the government reported this morning.

Preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that a total of $7.298 billion worth of goods was shipped into the country, up 19.7% from revised $6.094 billion recorded a year earlier.

“The increase was due to the positive growth rates of nine out of the top 10 major imported commodities for the month led by iron and steel (100%),” the PSA said in a statement.

On the other hand, the country’s top import—the electronic products, which accounted for 26.8% of the total imports—decreased by 7% to $2.104 billion.

Picking up the slack were other commodity groups that registered huge increases during the month. These were transport equipment (76.3%), industrial machinery and equipment (52.2%), “miscellaneous” manufactured articles (51.6%), medicinal and pharmaceutical products (51.1%), plastics in primary and non-primary forms (50.3%), telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery (32.3%), other food and live animals (27.3%) and mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (1.3%).

For the year, inbound shipments amounted to $73.724 billion, marking a 13.7% jump from $64.822 billion posted during same period of last year.

The country’s balance of trade in goods in November registered a deficit of $2.566 billion, higher than the $976.87 million trade deficit in the same month last year.

Meanwhile, total importation or raw materials and intermediate goods in November valued at $2.774 billion—accounting for 38% of total imports—increased by 11.1% over last year’s $2.497 billion.

Payments for capital goods grew by 29.7% to $2.418 billion while consumer goods were up 32.6% at $1.409 billion.

China remained the biggest source of imports in November, with a 20.3% share valued at $1.484 billion.

Japan came second, with a 11.1% share at $812.47 million, while the US was third with a 8.3% share equivalent to $606.49 million.—Leo Jaymar G. Uy