PH exports decline anew in August
PH exports decline anew in August
This marks the 5th consecutive month of negative export growth in 2015

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine merchandise exports declined by 6.3% in August 2015, marking the fifth consecutive month of negative export growth this year, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) reported Friday, October 9.

Lower sales in total agro-based and mineral products pulled down Philippine merchandise exports by 1.8% in July 2015.

Total revenue from Philippine exports fell to $5.13 billion in August 2015 from $5.47 billion total receipts recorded in the same period last year, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported Friday.

The negative growth was mainly brought about by the decrease of 6 major commodities out of the top 10 commodities for the month: articles of apparel and clothing accessories; ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships; chemicals; metal components; and other manufactures, PSA noted.

PSA said combined merchandise exports for the first 8-month period of 2015 registered a 4.4% decrease, from $41.13 billion in 2014 to $39.34 billion in the same period of 2015.

Top exports

Electronic productsremained as the country’s top export with total receipts of $2.35 billion, accounting for 45.9% of the total exports revenue in August 2015. It increased by 3.3% from $2.28 billion registered in August 2014.

Components / devices (semiconductors) had the biggest share of 33.5% among electronic products and grew by 8.6% to $1.72 billion in August 2015 from $1.58 billion in August 2014.

Machinery and transport equipment was the second top export earner in August 2015 with export revenue of $405.89 million, went up by 41.4% from $287.03 million in August 2014.

Other manufactures, with 6.7% share to the total export receipts, ranked third with value posted at $343.38 million. This recorded a decrease of 7.9% from August 2014 value of $372.77 million.

Woodcraft and furnitureranked fourth, with sales amounting to $275.70 million in August 2015, contributing 5.4% share to the total export receipts. This registered a 9.3% increase from the previous year level of $252.21 million.

Electronic equipment and parts was recorded as the country’s fifth top export with revenue valued at $268.66 million or 5.2% share to total exports. It rose by 185.7% from $94.03 million in same period of 2014.

Rounding up the list of the top 10 exports for the month of August 2015 were:

  • Ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in  vehicles, aircrafts, and shipswith export earnings of $153.72 million, decelerated by 37.4% 
  • Metal components with export receipts of $125.38 million, dropped by 10.6%
  • Chemicals with proceeds billed at $123.56 million, declined by 27.8%
  • Other mineral productswith export receipts of $117.30 million, fell by 63.2%
  • Articles of apparel and clothing accessorieswith total receipts of $103.02 million, decreased by 39.3%

Total receipts from the top 10 exports reached $4.27 billion, or 83.3% of the total exports.

All selected trade-oriented economies in East and Southeast Asia posted negative exports
growth for August, except Vietnam.

Threats to export growth

“The latest export performance mirrors the recent developments in the global economy: the slowing down of global trade, sluggish momentum in industrial production in major economies, and downward price pressure on commodities,” said Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan.

With the absence of fresh triggers to spur renewed demand from major advanced economies, the exports sector is expected to remain constrained in the coming months, he added.

Reduced exports of mineral products weighed down total merchandise exports as it fell by 48.4% from $413.9 million in August 2014 to $213.6 million in August this year. The contraction was primarily due to lower earnings from copper metal and other minerals.

Total export of agro-based products experienced its steepest decline this year at 37.4%, marking its seventh consecutive month of lower earnings due to lower receipts from coconut products, fruits and vegetables, sugar products, and other agro-based products.

The exports sector remains constrained by sluggish global demand, low oil prices, and most importantly, the threat of El Niño to the agriculture sector, Balisacan, also the NEDA director general, said.

Thus, Balisacan again urged policy makers to focus on enhancing and designing domestic policies that could mitigate the negative impact of external as well as domestic shocks, such as El Niño.

“Over the medium-term, we encourage tapping new markets, diversifying export products, and pursuing innovation in order to secure growth, stability, and competitiveness for the export sector,” Balisacan said.

“This, however, must be coupled with government’s effort to develop infrastructure, improve business regulations and logistics, and lessen foreign investment restrictions in the country,” he added. –

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