PH exports dip by 3% in December 2015
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine merchandise exports dipped by 3% in December 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, despite the double-digit increase in petroleum sales, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said on Wednesday, February 10.
The Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Wednesday that total revenue from Philippine exports fell by $143 million or to $4.7 billion in December 2015, from $4.8 billion in the same month in 2014.
NEDA attributed the drop to lower sales in manufactures, agro-based and mineral products which, it said, "tempered increased earnings from petroleum products."
Petroleum exports increased by 11.9% after 3 consecutive months of decline due to low prices. The slowdown in the country’s major trading partners, such as China, dragged down revenues from merchandise exports, NEDA said.
Export of manufactured goods declined by 1.8% to $4.1 billion in December 2015, compared to 3.6% in November 2015.
NEDA Director-General Emmanuel Esguerra cited risks that may challenge the Philippine economy in 2016.
“Advanced and emerging economies continue to face difficulties. In particular, the slowdown in China due to on-going structural transformation, as well as the contractionary fiscal policies in oil-exporting countries as they adjust to declining oil revenues, pose risks to the Philippine economy this year," he said. (READ: China's lowest growth for 25 years: What does it mean?)
On the brighter side, however, the Philippines’ major trading partners such as the United States, Japan, and the Euro area "are expected to post a slight recovery this year," he said.
Esguerra said the challenge "is to be able to expand export market destinations and diversity product offerings."
The new NEDA chief said the Philippines should take advantage of the ASEAN Economic Community when it takes full effect this year. (READ: AEC 2015: Will PH firms be market disruptors?)
"Expanding market opportunities in emerging export markets such as India and Mexico can boost the country’s merchandise exports, as they have been increasing their demands for consumer products,” said Esguerra.
He also said the Philippines should remain committed to the implementation of the Manufacturing Restructuring Program (MRP) to complement this.
“Implementing the MRP will rebuild the domestic production base and improve competitiveness through innovation. Given the high multiplier effects and potential for employment generation, the revival of the manufacturing sector is expected to spur domestic employment and investments in the country,” said Esguerra. – Rappler.com