Exports hit record $52 B
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - February 13, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The country’s merchandise exports hit a record-high of $51.994 billion in 2012 driven by the growth in shipments of various commodities.

The value of exports last year was the highest seen by the country since it reached $51.498 billion in 2010.

The National Statistics Office (NSO) said yesterday the value of exports last year was also 7.6 percent higher than the $48.305 billion in 2011.

Revenues from electronics products, the country’s top export, however, declined by 5.20 percent to $22.557 billion last year compared to 2011.

For the month of December alone, exports grew 16.5 percent to $3.970 billion from the same month in 2011.

“The sustained increment was supported by the positive year-on-year change in bananas (fresh), petroleum products, metal components, tuna and woodcrafts and furniture,” the NSO said.

Export receipts from shipments of electronic products for the month of December alone fell 5.5 percent to $1.506 billion from the previous year.

In terms of country destination, the NSO said Japan was still the top market for Philippine exports, accounting for an 18-percent share in total shipments in December.

Revenues from exports to Japan amounted to $715.29 million, 12.7 percent higher than in the same month in 2011.

Sought for comment, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said in a telephone interview yesterday that despite hitting an all-time high, last year’s exports could have even been better if not for the weak performance of the electronics sector.

“As expected, we missed our nine to 10-percent target,” he said.

“To double-up exports by 2016, we hope markets will recover and the electronics sector will recover fully,” he said further.

The country is aiming for an 11-percent growth in exports per year starting this year to hit $120 billion in 2016.

“Obviously, to meet the target, growth cannot just be at 11 percent. It has to be higher so we have to adjust that (11 percent growth),” Ortiz-Luis said.

For his part, University of the Philippines economist Benjamin Diokno said in an email a major rebound in exports is not likely this year as the global economy remains weak.

“The strong peso remains to be the strongest factor affecting Philippine exports,” he added.

BENJAMIN DIOKNO BILLION EXPORTS NATIONAL STATISTICS OFFICE ORTIZ-LUIS PHILIPPINE EXPORTERS CONFEDERATION INC SERGIO ORTIZ-LUIS JR. UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES YEAR
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