PHILIPPINES  LOWERS  IMPORT,  EXPORT  GROWTH  TARGETS

MANILA, October 26, 2005
 (STAR) (AFP) The Philippines cut its 2005 export and import targets in the face of the global slowdown in the electronics industry, an economic planning official said Tuesday.

"Definitely we will not meet our growth target for imports this year," Dennis Arroyo, economic planning undersecretary said, referring to the original government target of 10-percent growth in imports this year.

"We have also down-scaled our full-year growth target for exports to six percent from eight percent," he added.

The National Statistics Office said imports in the eight months to August fell 0.2 percent over the same period last year to 29.23 billion dollars.

Philippine imports in August alone rose 10.1 percent from a year earlier to 4.06 billion dollars, but they were mostly due to higher crude oil costs, the government agency said.

Arroyo told financial news service XFN-Asia that the government had not set a specific target for imports this year but that he would not rule out negative growth.

Manila's August trade deficit rose to 603 million dollars compared to the year-ago deficit of 258 million dollars.

This brought the eight-month deficit to 2.87 billion dollars, down from 3.97 billion dollars over the same period last year.

The government earlier reported that exports in August rose 0.8 percent to 3.46 billion dollars, while exports for the eight-month period were up 4.1 percent to 26.36 billion dollars.

Large amounts of imports to the Philippines have consisted of raw materials that are used as inputs in the manufacture of semiconductors and other electronic products.

Such products in turn constitute over 50 percent of the Philippines' exports and a slump in imports has sometimes been taken as a sign that exports will also fall.

The Philippines' electronics industry association on Tuesday slashed its 2005 export forecast by half to about five percent.

Art Young, head of the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries of the Philippines Inc. (SEIPI) said that while exports of semiconductors were already up 10.7 percent in the eight months of the year, exports of other electronics products was growing only 2.3 percent.

The electronics industry was hit hard by the transfer of Toshiba's laptop manufacturing plant from the Philippines to China in January, Young said.

He recalled that Toshiba imported about 90 percent of its raw materials in making laptops although he did not give a figure.

Despite this setback, Young said SEIPI was hopeful of posting double-digit export growth next year amid signs that demand for electronics was recovering.

Exports of electronic products reached about 27 billion dollars in 2004, Young said.

Philippines imports up 10.1 percent on oil spike 10/25 12:24:10 PM

MANILA (AFP) - Philippine imports rose 10.1 percent from a year earlier to 4.06 billion dollars in August due to higher crude oil costs, the government said Tuesday, citing preliminary data.

Imports fell 0.2 percent to 29.23 billion dollars for the eight months to August, the National Statistics Office said in a statement.

Manila's August trade deficit rose to 603 million dollars compared to the year-ago deficit of 258 million dollars.

This brought the eight-month deficit to 2.87 billion dollars, down from 3.97 billion dollars over the same period last year.

The government earlier reported that exports in August rose 0.8 percent to 3.46 billion dollars, while exports for the eight-month period were up 4.1 percent to 26.36 billion dollars.

Electronic parts and products, which accounted for 43.1 percent of the total August import bill, fell 4.5 percent to 1.75 billion dollars. These imports are in turn key components for the electronics industry, the country's top dollar earner.

Imports of mineral fuels, lubricants and other oil materials rose 55.2 percent to 665.75 million dollars.

The United States was the source of 17.1 percent of imports in August, followed by Japan on 15.8 percent.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2005  by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE