The revenue for the country’s metal exports slightly increase by 2011 compared to the 2009 to 2010 downtrend of the industry, with imports increasing as well, according to records by from the Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC).
Science Secretary Mario Montejo said on Tuesday that the local metal industry is gradually becoming “competitive” as the possible demand for metals remains huge. The MIRDC is an agency under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
“Ang laki ng [it is huge]possible demand for the metal industry—for transportation, agriculture and food processing equipment,” he added.
According to the MIRDC document entitled The Philippine Metals and Engineering: 2013 State of the Industry, tool and die exports gathered revenues totaling to $3.4 million in 2011, compared to the $1.25million in 2010.
Tool and die are metal products used in making jigs, fixtures, dies, molds, machine tools, cutting tools (such as milling cutters and form tools), gauges, and other tools used in the manufacturing processes.
Japan topped the export destination of the metal industry, generating $700,000 of the metal export revenues for the country. Japan was followed by Malaysia and Indonesia, buying $200,000 and $100,000, respectively.
On the other hand, Japan, China and Korea are the top three countries where Philippines mostly get its metal imports, ranging from $15 million to $23 million.
For the metal casting sector, 2011 exports increased: $51 million for steel castings from 2010’s $40.5 million; $200,000 for aluminum castings up from $170,000; and $27 million for bronze castings up from $20 million. Meanwhile, shipments of iron castings were down to $110,000 in 2011 compared to the $140,000 in 2010.
For the welding sector, total exports grew by about 68 percent, from $476.87 million in 2007 to $934.19 million in 2010.
The MIRDC attributed the increase to “the increasing demand for such product in the foreign market, particularly in the welding sector.”
Metal product imports for welding has “doubled compared to the exports products.”
Imports increased by 24 percent, or from $2.9 billion in 2007 to $3.9 billion in 2010.
Identified challenges to the metal industry include material procurement, “where prices are high, sourcing is difficult, and good quality is lacking,” according to the MIRDC. The others challenges are limited market and intense competition, among others.