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Philippines: February exports down 3.1% to $4.513 BThursday, April 09, 2015 > 11:31:11
Merchandise exports continued to decline year-on-year in February amid weak performance of six out of 10 major commodities, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.
Data from the PSA showed the country’s export earnings reached $4.513 billion in February this year, down 3.1 percent from $4.657 billion in the same month last year.
The negative growth was attributed by the PSA to the decreases registered by six major commodities out of the top 10 commodities such as woodcraft and furniture; other mineral products; metal components; electronic equipment and parts; other manufactures; and machinery and transport equipment.
“Majority of the major economies in East and Southeast Asia registered negative export performance in February 2015, with only PR (People’s Republic of China) in the positive territory. This partly mirrors the still fragile global economy, which is particularly reflected in the country’s weak turnout of merchandise exports on the back of lower demand from the country’s major trade partners, Japan and China,” Socioeconomic Planning chief Arsenio Balisacan said in a statement.
Electronic products, which remained the country’s top export for the month with its 43.7 percent share, generated revenues worth $1.970 billion in February this year, 4.8 percent higher than the previous year’s $1.880 billion.
Japan maintained its position as the top destination of Philippine merchandise exports with its 20.9 percent share, valued at $942.29 million this year, 20.2 percent lower than the $1.181 billion in February 2014.
While the February result was expected, Balisacan said the country may have to brace for another slowdown in March.
“Forward estimates of manufacturing activity for both Japan and China suggest another slowdown in March. Global commodity prices also continue to decline, potentially reducing revenues from agro-based and mineral exports in the succeeding period,” he said.
As such, it is important to monitor potential external shocks that can negatively affect the country’s trade performance.
Intensified efforts to expand the market base for agro-based products are likewise seen to be beneficial for Philippine exports.
“Further improvements in infrastructure and logistics should also continue to support the export manufacturing sector. Likewise, concerns on the stability of power supply should be addressed,” Balisacan said.