SHIPMENTS of fuel from abroad caused the country’s import bill to jump 25.9 percent in the January to July period, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
PSA said the country’s import payments amounted to $80.49 billion between January and July in 2022, higher than the $63.92 billion posted in the same period in 2021.
Triple-digit growth was recorded by Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials with an increase of 111.9 percent to $14.31 billion in the January to July period in 2022 from $6.75 billion in 2021.
Apart from this, the import of Office and Electronic data processing (EDP) Machines also surged 209.3 percent to $19.75 million in 2022 from the same period in 2021.
Other imports that recorded the highest increases in 2022 included corn which posted a growth of 98.3 percent to $19.27 million; manufactured fertilizers, 57.5 percent to $656.49 million; and other crude materials, 53.4 percent to $771.97 million in the January to July period in 2022.
However, semiconductors remained the country’s top import with shipments amounting to $13.72 billion in 2022, a 13.8-percent growth from $12.059 billion in January to July 2021.
Meanwhile, data for July 2022 alone showed imports amounted to $12.14 billion, a growth of 21.5 percent from the $9.99 billion in July 2021.
The country’s top import for July was electronic products which accounted for 22.8 percent of total imports. Electronic product shipments amounted to $2.77 billion, a contraction of 1.5 percent from the $2.81 billion in July 2021.
This was followed by Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials which accounted for 19.3 percent of total imports. Shipments of this commodity amounted to $2.34 billion, an 86.5-percent increase from the $1.25 billion posted in July 2021.
Commodities that posted high growth in July were Metalliferous Ores and Metal Scrap which grew 293.4 percent to $231.12 million; Articles of Apparel, accessories, 102.5 percent to $75.09 million; and Animal and Vegetable Oils and Fats, 75 percent to $258 million.
The imports of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical supplies, including Covid-19 vaccines, posted double-digit declines in July.
PSA data showed PPEs and medical supply shipments declined to $57.49 million in July 2022 or a contraction of 53.8 percent from its value of $124.34 million in the same month of the previous year.
In July 2022, the total import for Covid-19 vaccine was valued at $37.97 million, a 63.6-percent decline year-on-year but a 1,777.9- percent growth month-on-month. Covid-19 vaccines accounted for 66 percent of all PPE and medical supply shipments in July 2022.
The import value of surgical gloves skyrocketed 1,224.78 percent in July to $1.54 million and accounted for 2.7 percent of all PPE and medical supply shipments in July 2022. Compared to June, this was a 911.7-percent growth.
Data also showed that the country’s imports of testing kits declined 34.1 percent to $10.52 million in July 2022 compared to July 2021. This also represented a decline of 7.15 percent from June 2022.
The People’s Republic of China was the country’s biggest supplier of imported goods valued at $2.43 billion or 20 percent of the total imports in July 2022.
Completing the top 5 major import trading partners with their corresponding import values and percent shares to the total imports included the Republic of Korea, $1.28 billion or a 10.6 percent of total imports; Indonesia, $1.22 billion or 10.1 percent; Japan, $1.06 billion or 8.7 percent; and Singapore, $759.75 million or 6.3 percent.
By economic bloc, APEC member-countries were the biggest suppliers of the country’s imported goods in July 2022 with a share of $10.45 billion or 86.1 percent of the total.
This was followed by East Asia with an import value of $5.59 billion or a 46 percent share as well as the Asean with $3.7 billion or 30.5 percent of total imports.
Image credits: Hawaii State Energy Office via AP