The country’s exports went up for the third time this year in August, this time by 20.2 percent, amounting to $4.6 billion to last year’s $3.8 billion, according to data from National Statistics Office released on Thursday.
In a statement, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said that the Philippines registered the highest growth in exports compared to its neighboring countries in the region, followed by Vietnam with a yearly increase of 15.5 percent.
NEDA Deputy Director General Rolando Tungpalan said that the growth in exports was driven by overseas sales in major commodity groups.
“We are now reaping the benefits of our efforts to diversify the country’s exports base as seen in the increasing revenues from agro-based, forest, mineral and petroleum products. This, when combined with strong performance of manufactured goods, will bring our exports industry to full recovery and sustained growth,” he said.
“With this growth, the Philippines was the strongest performer among its East and Southeast Asian neighbors in terms of export growth in August 2013,” Tungpalan added, referring to the 20.2-percent growth in exports by August.
Manufactured goods accounted for the majority of the country’s export for August, taking 81.1 percent share while increasing by 8.7 percent from $3.4 billion in 2012 to $3.7 billion this year.
While manufactured goods went up, electronics and semiconductors registered a decline of 0.4 percent, accounting for 39 percent of export products. NEDA said that the rise in the exports of the major commodity groups reduced the percentage share of electronics and semiconductors in the country’s total exports.
Other manufactures was the second top export earner next to electronics and semiconductors, increasing by 65.6 percent to $542.9 million from last year’s $327.8 million. This was followed by woodcrafts and furnitures, other mineral products, and machinery and transport equipment.
“Japan remained as the top exports destination of the Philippines in July 2013, accounting for 25 percent of the country’s total export receipts,” NEDA said, referring to the major Philippine export destinations including the United States with 12.6 percent share, China with 10.5 percent, Singapore with 8.5 percent, and Hong Kong with 7.6 percent.
Over the last eight months, collective revenues from export receipts within the year decreased by 0.8 percent to $35 billion from the $35.3 billion compared to the same time last year.