Philippine imports up 3 pct in April

Posted at 06/25/14 10:29 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine imports in April climbed 3 percent from a year earlier, the statistics agency said on Wednesday.

Imports reached $5.31 billion in April.

Top imports in April were mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, accounting for 27 percent of the total. Mineral fuel imports climbed an annual 11.5 percent to $1.43 billion during the month.

Imports of electronic parts in April, the second top shipment with a 19.5 percent share, fell 3.1 percent from a year earlier, to $1.04 billion.

Electronics imports are components used by the semiconductor and electronics industry, the biggest export sector and a major contributor to the economy.

The country had a trade deficit of $743 million in April, bringing the trade gap in the first four months of the year to $2.65 billion.

The electronics industry group has forecast electronic exports will grow 5 percent this year.

The Philippine government expects imports in 2014 to grow 9 percent, ahead of a previous forecast of 6 percent, before rising to 10 percent next year and 12 percent in 2016, on higher shipments of construction materials for rebuilding after last year's super typhoon and the start of big infrastructure projects.

Manila kept its export growth estimates at 6 percent this year, 8 percent next year and 10 percent in 2016.

The Philippine Statistics Authority has revised trade data for 2013 and will also revise trade numbers for previous years. Based on the new revised data, the Philippines had a trade deficit of $5.71 billion in 2013, much lower than the previously reported deficit of $7.85 billion.

Officials have set an economic growth target of 6.5-7.5 percent this year, after growth of 7.2 percent in 2013.