MANILA, Philippines - Philippine merchandise imports rose 10 percent in May from a year ago following the year-on-year drop seen in the previous month, the National Statistics Office (NSO) reported yesterday.
It said total merchandise imports in May went up to $5.386 billion from last year’s $4.893 billion.
May’s year-on-year growth in merchandise imports is the highest posted since September last year when shipments to the country rose 10.6 percent.
The country’s merchandise imports fell 13.7 percent in April from the same month a year ago.
Compared to the previous month’s $4.773 billion, imports in May were up 12.8 percent.
But while the country saw merchandise imports rise in May, the import bill for the January to May period declined slightly.
“Aggregate imports went down 1.9 percent from the $26.150-billion value in the first five-month period in 2011 to $25.660 billion for the same period in 2012,” it said.
The NSO said electronic products which comprised the bulk or 26.7 percent of the aggregate import bill slipped 15.3 percent to $1.440 billion in May from the same month last year.
Among the major groups of electronic products, it noted that semiconductors which had the biggest share declined 22.6 percent to $1.101 billion from last year.
Other merchandise imports, however, saw increases in May from a year ago.
Import bill payments for mineral fuels, lubricants and other related materials rose 88.1 percent to $1.290 billion from the $685.91 million spent last year.
Transport equipment shipments into the country climbed 68.8 percent to $367.73 million from the previous year.
The import bill payments of industrial machinery and equipment also went up 8.7 percent to $268.46 million from a year ago.
In terms of source of imports, the NSO said the United States of America (USA) including Alaska and Hawaii, accounted for the bulk or 12.1 percent of Philippine imports in May. - By Louella D. Desiderio