Exports pick up in September with 22% hike
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - After months of slump, Philippine exports, an indicator of the impact of the global slowdown on the Philippines, bounced back in September.
Export revenues reach $4.78 billion during the month, the highest since May 2012, and a rebound after a 9% drop in August.
This 22% increase from a year ago was the also the highest since December 2010 when exports posted a growth of 26.5%. The 26% quarter-on-quarter export growth, on the other hand, was the highest since 2006.
After 5 months, electronics products--the single biggest export of the Philippines--posted a positive growth of 1.1% in September. However, 'other exports' overshadowed electronics' gains.
Revenues from these shipments amounted to $2.73 billion, a 47.3% increase from last year's $1.85 billion.
"Improved overall demand for the country's manufactured exports was mainly due to the generally favorable developments in global industrial production," the Philippine economic planning department said in a statement.
Economist Luz Lorenzo of ATR-Kim Eng Securities said exports to Japan, the top market for the month, rose 115% to $1.473 billion due to increased demand as the country recovered from a 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
This helped bring double- or even triple-digit growth in Philippine exports of tuna, metal components, bananas, woodcraft and furniture, she said.
"Those are things we export a lot of, to Japan," Lorenzo said.
The head of the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Sergio Ortiz-Luis, said the September figures were a sign that developed countries were starting to buy electronic products again.
However, he expressed doubt that exports would hit the 10% growth target earlier set by the government for this year.
"It's kind of difficult now. We just have 3 months to go," Ortiz-Luis said.
Philippine exports had plunged 6.9% in 2011 amid a sharp drop in demand for its electronics products.
Total Philippine exports in the first nine months of 2012 year rose 7.2% year-on-year to $40.07 billion.
Electronics exports rose 1.1% in September. The sector accounted for 38.3% of all Philippine shipments for the month.
Electronics exports had plunged 14.9% fall in August when overseas demand slumped amid the slowdown in the economies of developed countries.
After Japan, the United States was the second largest export market, buying $602.89 million in September, the government said.
This was a 16.2% increase from the same period last year. - Rappler.com, with Agence France Presse