• Exports to prop up Q4 2014 GDP

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    PH best Asian exporter with 19.7% Nov increase

    THE country’s stellar export performance in November will support economic growth in the fourth quarter as exports make up 41 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), government economic planners said Friday.

    Emmanuel Esguerra, officer in charge of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), said that for the third time in 2014, the Philippines emerged as the best export performer among East and Southeast Asian economies like Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and Indonesia.

    Philippine exports grew by 19.7 percent in November from a year earlier driven by strong demand for manufactures, agro-based, and mineral products.

    “Demand during the holiday season likely sustained exports and consumption growth until December which could potentially support a stronger fourth quarter GDP growth,” said Esguerra.

    However, the NEDA official warned that the expected slack in demand by the start of 2015 may soften the demand for Philippine exports, in addition to the uncertainties still lingering in many big economies.

    With close to half of GDP accounted for by exports, the country’s vulnerability to external shocks can pose a downward risk to growth, he added.

    To mitigate the risks, Esguerra called for intensified efforts to diversify export products and markets through continued export promotion and market access initiatives.  He said the export assistance network should be enhanced to provide start-up support for more exporters and further ease export-related procedures.

    Data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Friday showed that the country’s total export earnings rose to $5.2 billion in November from $4.3 billion a year earlier.

    On a monthly basis, the November export receipts were slightly higher than the $5.173 billion in October.

    Cumulative exports for the first 11 months of 2014 rose by 10 percent to $56.9 billion from $51.7 billion a year earlier.

    The PSA said the export sector’s strong performance during the period was driven by growth in manufactures, agro-based, and mineral products.

    “Increased demand for Philippine-made products by Taiwan, China and the United States of America likewise boosted this expansion,” said Esguerra.

    Top exports

    Electronics remained the country’s top export product, accounting for 49.2 percent of total exports for the month, with export earnings rising 27 percent to $2.5 billion from $2.0 billion registered in November 2013.

    Other top export earners were woodcraft and furniture; other manufactures; chemicals; machinery and transport equipment.

    Export earnings from manufactured goods reached $4.4 billion, up from $3.7 billion registered in November 2013.

    “Manufactures continue to gain from positive developments in the global manufacturing sector, as better performance of both the electronics and non-electronics segments pushed exports to a higher growth path,” Esguerra said.

    The agency also reported that total agro-based products managed to sustain their robust growth during the month, with export value reaching $354.3 million, or up by 34.5 percent from $263.5 million in the same period in 2013.

    NEDA traced the growth to the quadrupling of coconut oil exports, which more than doubled the export earnings from coconut products to $180 million from $68.6 million in November 2013.

    Revenues from mineral products also grew by 5.6 percent to $195.9 million in November 2014 from $185.5 million in November 2013 due to increased shipments of copper metal, it added.

    The agency noted that the strong performance of these sectors moderated the lower export revenues registered by petroleum and forest products.

    Japan remained the country’s top destination for exports, with export receipts amounting
    to $1.09 billion, accounting for a 21.1 percent share of total exports, 5.5 percent year-on-year.

    The United States ranked second with export receipts valued at $689.4 million. Other top markets for Philippine exports were China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

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