Exports barely grow in April
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The country's exports rose narrowly in April as shipments of electronics and other manufactured goods fell.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed exports grew 0.8% to $4.543 billion in April from $4.506 billion last year. This was a marked slowdown from the 12.4% and 11.6% growth rates registered in March and February, respectively. (READ: Exports sustain double-digit growth in March)
Shipments of electronic products, the biggest export group with a 40% share, decreased 2.5% to $1.817 billion from $1.863 billion in April 2013.
“This slower export growth is not expected to persist in the long-term. Overall, the gradual recovery of the global economy continues to firm up as demand from the Philippines’ other major export markets picked up strongly in April 2014 particularly for Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Germany, Taiwan, and the Netherlands,” said National Economic and Development Authority Director-General Arsenio Balisacan.
“It is also of note that the Semiconductors and Electronics Industries of the Philippines remains optimistic that the country’s semiconductor exports will bounce back, keeping the 5% growth target in electronics exports for 2014,” he added.
Semiconductors account for bulk of the Philippines' electronics exports. The country supplies 10% of the world's semiconductors, such as those used in mobile phone chips and micro processors.
Other manufactures, the second top export earner in April, had revenues of $376.31 million, down 12.2% from $428.4 million last year.
With respect to commodities outside manufactures, Balisacan said agro-based as well as petroleum products performed well.
Revenues from agro-based products rose 18.1% to $372.1 million, thanks to higher sales of fruits and vegetables, coconut and sugar.
“The strong outturn in outward sales of fruits and vegetables was mostly due to increased receipts from bananas and pineapple juice. Supporting the overall growth of banana exports was the strong demand from markets such as Japan, the People’s Republic of China, and the Republic of Korea, alongside the improvements in supply following the rehabilitation of banana plantations that were damaged due to Typhoon Pablo in December 2012,” Balisacan noted.
Petroleum exports went up 38.5% to $41.7 million, reflecting the “ramped up domestic oil production in the first quarter of 2014 from the Galoc oil field,” said Balisacan.
Japan, including Okinawa, remained as the country's largest export market, accounting for $939.16 million or 20.7% of total revenues. This was 5.5% lower than the $993.99 million recorded last year.
Other top markets included US ($735.20 million), China ($570.70 million), Singapore ($370.06 million), and Hong Kong ($367.60 million). – Rappler.com