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Fish Helped Towards Export Growth in October

Sustainability Economics Politics +4 more

PHILIPPINES - Value of merchandise exports grew by 6.1 per cent to US$4.4 billion in October 2012.

The growth, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) makes the Philippines one of the strongest performers among its selected East and Southeast Asian neighbors for the first 10 months of the year.

From January to October 2012, total exports receipts from the Philippines already totaled US$44.5 billion, which is a 7.1-percent jump from the same period last year.

The year-to-date exports growth of 7.1 percent made the Philippines among the top three performers among selected East and Southeast Asian economies for the said period, NEDA officer-in-charge (OIC) Rolando G. Tungpalan, in a statement said.

Other countries that posted positive exports growth were Vietnam (18.7 per cent), China (7.8 per cent), Hong Kong (1.4 per cent), Thailand, and Singapore (both 0.3 per cent). On the other hand, Indonesia (-6.0 per cent), Taiwan (-3.7 per cent), Japan (-1.4 per cent), and South Korea (-1.3 per cent) experienced contractions.

The positive outturn of our exports in October reflected the strengthening global economic activity as industrial production and business sentiment indicators primarily point upward, said the NEDA official.

Growth of exports receipts from major commodity groups, meanwhile, such as manufactures (6.5 per cent), minerals (21.5 per cent), petroleum products (43.5 per cent) and total agro-based products (1.6 per cent) contributed to the countrys performance in October 2012 as declared by the National Statistics Office (NSO).

The increased demand for manufactures was largely due to firming industrial activity in developing economies and in some advanced regions. Exports of Philippines manufactures were supported by electronic equipment and parts, processed food and beverages, wood manufactures, and machinery and transport equipment, said Tungpalan.

In October 2012, exports of agro-based products increased following three consecutive months of contractions. The positive performance was contributed by higher revenues from bananas (101.9 per cent), copra meal/cake (530.1 per cent), coconut oil (5.6 per cent), and fish products (15.7 per cent).

The growth in banana exports, which contributed about 1.2 percentage points to overall export increase, reflects positive expectations of global demand, specifically from China, which is seen to buy more food products due to the approaching winter season. Meanwhile, coconut oil exports mainly benefited from the robust demand of the countrys traditional foreign markets as well as the ample domestic supply of the said commodity, Tungpalan said.

Also noted by Tungpalan was the electronics exports that reached US$1.9 billion in October 2012, up slightly by 0.3 percent from the same period in 2011. This was due to improved performance of semiconductors (7.5 per cent), office equipment (220.1 per cent), control and instrumentation (1,080.8 per cent), telecommunication (256.7 per cent), and automotive electronics (50.2 per cent).

The growth in the countrys semiconductor exports partly reflected the increase in chip sales in the American region, particularly in the United States. However, the positive performance of electronics exports was slightly offset by the performance of electronic data processing (EDP). Weak sales of EDP units continued to reflect the consumers greater preference for lower-end desktop PCs and notebook computers over higher-performance models on the back of a still sluggish global economy, said Tungpalan.

Japan, also according to NSO, was the top destination of Philippine exports in October 2012, accounting for 16.6 percent of total export receipts. It was followed by Hong Kong (14.7 per cent), United States of America (13.2 per cent), China (12.4 per cent), and South Korea (8.0 per cent).