Philippine exports posted a strong rebound in September and surpassed the brisk pace of growth recorded in August after recovering from a slump in July, the latest official data shows.
The government’s economic planning body said the country may have topped the export performance of the trade-oriented economies in East and Southeast Asia.
Total Philippine export earnings in September surged 15.7 percent to $5.849 billion from a revised $5.056 billion a year earlier, according to data released on Tuesday by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Growth in September exports exceeded the 10.5 percent year-on-year increase achieved by the sector in August. The month’s robust export performance boosted the country’s cumulative merchandise exports to $45.596 billion by September, up 9.9 percent from $42.386 billion a year earlier.
Outperformer in Asia
According to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Philippines outperformed China, which posted a 15.3 percent export increase for the month, Vietnam (14.4 percent), Republic of Korea (6.9 percent), Taiwan (4.7 percent), Indonesia (3.9 percent), Thailand (3.2 percent), Malaysia (3.0 percent), and Hong Kong (1.0 percent), while Japan and Singapore posted negative growth at -1.2 percent and -1.6 percent, respectively.
The NEDA noted that the country’s exports looked strong despite slower growth in July (12.4 percent) and in August (10.5 percent).
“From a peak of 21.3 percent in June 2014, the latest merchandise export growth outturn signals the rebound of the exports sector, even surpassing most economies in the region during the period,” said Deputy Director-General and currently NEDA Officer-in-Charge Rolando Tungpalan.
“Supporting this growth are the strong gains from machinery and transport products, as well as the continued solid expansion of electronics exports especially in semiconductors and electronic data processing. Worth noting are the higher outward shipments of chemical products and the resurgence of coconut oil exports,” he added.
The PSA said six major commodities recorded increased earnings, specifically chemicals; machinery and transport equipment; other mineral products; coconut oil; other manufactures; and electronic products.
Electronics top exports
Electronic products remained the country’s top export, with total receipts of $2.442 billion, accounting for 41.8 percent of the total exports revenue in September and higher by 13.6 percent than a year earlier.
Chemicals ranked second with value posted at $600.68 million. It was followed by “other manufactures” with export revenue of $520.98 million, machinery and transport equipment with earnings amounting to $345.54 million, and other mineral products with revenue valued at $265.85 million.
“These developments largely reflect the upbeat condition of global manufacturing activity,” the NEDA official said.
Meanwhile, offsetting some of the gains in September were four major commodities that recorded negative annual growths. These were: woodcraft and furniture; metal components; articles of apparel and clothing accessories; and ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships.
Positive export market mood
Despite the slower pace of recovery in the global economy, Philippine merchandise output saw positive signs across some of its export markets or trading partners such as China, Singapore, Germany, South Korea, Thailand, and the Netherlands.
“Overall, total exports are expected to continue to post positive gains during the remaining months of the year owing to the holiday season.
The Japanese and the US markets [are]likely to boost Philippine exports for the remaining months given the recent optimism building up in the Japanese manufacturing sector and the broad-based expansion in industrial production in the US,” Tungpalan said.
Japan was once again the country’s top destination for exports with revenue amounting to $1.734 billion, accounting for a 29.6 percent share of total exports for September, and showing an increase of 52.6 percent from the same month a year ago.
The United States ranked second, with export receipts valued at $793.61 million. Other top markets for Philippine exports were China, Hong Kong and Singapore.