The country’s total merchandise imports went down by 5.8 percent from $4.996 billion to $4.708 billion in February 2013. Furthermore, it decreased by 0.4 percent from $4.727 billion compared to previous month’s level. The down fall was supported by eight out of ten major commodity groups whose year-on-year change was negative. These were as follows: transport equipment; organic and inorganic chemicals; plastics in primary and non-primary forms; electronic products; iron and steel; telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery; industrial machinery and equipment; and other food and live animals.
Accounting for 26.5 percent of the aggregate import bill, payments for Electronic Products in February 2013 amounted to $1.248 billion. It went down by 12.6 percent over last year's figure of $1.428 billion. However, on a monthly basis, it grew by 9.0 percent from $1.145 billion recorded in January 2013. Imports of Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials ranked second with 25.7 percent share and posted a positive annual growth rate of 20.2 percent to reported value of $1.209 billion in February 2013 from $1.006 billion in February 2012.
United States of America (USA) including Alaska and Hawaii was the country’s biggest source of imports for February 2013 with 11.6 percent share of the total import bill, higher by 0.8 percent to $547.43 million from $542.92 million in February 2012. People’s Republic of China was the second biggest source of imports with 11.5 percent share. Payments were recorded at $542.44 million, an increase of 21.7 percent from $445.58 million in February 2012.
Export earnings in February 2013 amounted to $3.741 billion, a 15.6 percent decrement from $4.430 billion recorded in February of 2012. Similarly, on a monthly basis, it decreased by 6.7 percent from $4.011 billion posted in January 2013. The down fall was supported by the negative year-on-year change in machinery and transport equipment, special transactions, electronic products and articles of apparel and clothing accessories.
Accounting for 39.7 percent of the total exports revenue in February 2013, Electronic Products emerged as the country’s top export with total receipts of $1.483 billion. It went down by 36.5 percent from $2.334 billion registered in February 2012. However, month-on-month, Electronic Products, was up by 1.2 percent from $1.466 billion posted in January 2013. Components/Devices (Semiconductors) which comprised 30.9 percent of the total exports shared the biggest among the major groups of electronic products with export earnings worth $1.155 billion or a decrease of 31.3 percent from $1.681 billion registered in February 2012. Other Manufactures followed as the second top export earner in February 2013 with total receipts of $324.11 million or a share of 8.7 percent to the total exports revenue. It rose by 51.9 percent compared to February 2012 level of $213.37 million.
Japan including Okinawa comprising 18.9 percent share to total exports for February 2013 emerged as the country’s top destination of exports with revenue amounting to $705.93 million. It was lower by 11.4 percent from $796.63 million recorded a year ago. United States of America including Alaska and Hawaii with 15.9 percent share to total exports followed as the second top market of the country for February 2013 with export earnings worth $594.90 million. This represents a decrease of 13.5 percent from $687.74 million reported a year earlier.