Export revenues decline to $4.357B in January

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - March 11, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Revenues from the country’s merchandise exports continued to decline at the start of the year due to the weak performance of five major commodities, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

Data released by the PSA yesterday showed the country’s export earnings reached $4.357 billion in January 2015, a 0.5 percent decrement from the $4.379 billion recorded value in the same month last year.

The negative growth was attributed to the decrease of five major commodities out of the top 10 commodities for the month such as other manufactures; woodcrafts and furniture; chemicals; metal components and coconut oil.

Electronics, the country’s top export for the month, had total receipts amounting to $2.040 billion in January this year, 14.6 percent higher than the $1.780 billion in the previous year.

By export destination, Japan remained the top market for Philippine outbound merchandise shipments with its 20.3 percent share amounting to $882.61 million in January 2015 which fell by 23.2 percent from the $1.150 billion earned a year ago.

Despite the lower total export revenues in January, Socioeconomic Planning chief Arsenio Balisacan said the Philippines still performed better than its neighbors.

“The decline is negligible as compared to most trade-oriented economies in selected East Asian countries that posted negative outturns in merchandise exports during the period. This is also in view of weaker demand conditions and fragile manufacturing sectors in some of our major trading partners, Japan, Korea, and Singapore,” he said.

The country’s latest export performance, he also said, is in line with the anticipated low demand due to seasonal factors.

In the coming months, risks are seen for the Philippine export sector such as the expected moderation of the US manufacturing sector which could mean fewer orders.

Another risk is the expected lower commodity prices for 2015.

 “On that note, revenue from major agro-based commodities such as coconut oil and copra may moderate given the stabilization of global supply. However, increasing demand for gadgets and smart technologies will continue to benefit the electronics sector,” Balisacan said.

With risks seen, Balisacan said it is important for the government to fast-track the programs directed to support the industrial and manufacturing development of the country.

 “The full implementation of the Industry Development Program of the Department of Trade and Industry, which aims to enhance the competitiveness of key industries, should be supported. To complement this, gaps in infrastructure, including in energy and logistics, should also be addressed in order to enhance the competitiveness of Philippine exports,” he said.

 

ARSENIO BALISACAN BALISACAN BILLION COUNTRY EAST ASIAN EXPORT INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY PHILIPPINE STATISTICS AUTHORITY SOCIOECONOMIC PLANNING YEAR
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