Exports fall sharply by 15.6% in February to $3.74 billion

Philippine exports dropped at a double-digit clip in February, dragged down by a plunge in shipments of electronics products, the country's main export item.

The National Statistics Office yesterday reported February exports declined 15.6% from the same month a year earlier - the sharpest decline since 18.9% in December 2011 - to $3.74 billion. Exports fell 6.7% from $1.011 billion posed in January.

Aggregate merchandise exports for the first two months of 2013, showed a decrease of 9.4 percent from $8.554 billion in 2012 to $7.752 billion in 2013.

Electronics accounted for nearly 40% of February exports; they declined 36.5% on year to $1.48 billion. That figure was 1.2% higher than in January.

The government expects export to grow 10% this year.

The NSO said the fall in exporters during the month was supported by the negative year-on-year change in machinery and transport equipment, special transactions, electronic products and articles of apparel and clothing accessories.

Electronic Products emerged as the country's top export with total receipts of $1.483 billion. It went down by 36.5 percent from $2.334 billion registered in February 2012. However, month-on-month, Electronic Products, was up by 1.2 percent from $1.466 billion posted in January 2013. Components/Devices (Semiconductors) which comprised 30.9 percent of the total exports shared the biggest among the major groups of electronic products with export earnings worth $1.155 billion or a decrease of 31.3 percent from $1.681 billion registered in February 2012. Similarly, volume of outward shipments of electronic products and semiconductors also declined by 19.0 percent and 15.6 percent, respectively compared to same period a year ago.

Other Manufactures followed as the second top export earner in February 2013 with total receipts of $324.11 million or a share of 8.7 percent to the total exports revenue. It rose by 51.9 percent compared to February 2012 level of $213.37 million. Likewise, volume of this product dropped by 13.6 percent compared to the same period last year.

Metal Components recorded as the country's third top exporter with revenue valued at $290.66 million or a 7.8 percent share to total exports. It increased by 302.6 percent, registering the highest annual increase among the top ten exports from $72.20 million recorded value during the same month in 2012. Outward shipments of this product showed an expansion of 22.8 percent compared to its year ago recorded shipment.

Ranked fourth in February 2013 and contributing 5.9 percent share to the total export receipts was Woodcrafts and Furniture with earnings amounting to $219.22 million. This figure expanded by 32.8 percent from its year ago level of $165.13 million. Furthermore, volume of shipments of this commodity showed a 45.9 percent increase compared to last year same month period.

Articles of Apparel and Clothing Accessories, with 3.9 percent share to the total export receipts, ranked fifth with value posted at $144.70 million. It slightly went down by 1.0 percent from $146.17 million recorded value compared to February 2012. Furthermore, volume of shipments of this commodity showed a 2.2 percent increase compared to last year same month period.

Rounding up the list of the top ten exports for the month of February 2013 were Ignition Wiring Set and Other Wiring Sets Used in Vehicles, Aircrafts and Ships Oil consisting only of electrical wiring harness for motor vehicles with export revenue of $137.89 million up by 25.8 percent; Machinery and Transport Equipment with export earnings of $131.50 million down by 63.6 percent; Chemicals with export receipts of $122.40 million accelerated by 10.4 percent; Special Transactions including replacements and goods returned to the country whence exported with recorded sales amounting to $90.37 million lower by 38.4 percent; and Coconut Oil including crude and refined with proceeds billed at $79.43 million rose by 23.5 percent.

Total receipts from the top ten exports reached $3.024 billion, or 80.8 percent of the total exports.

Accounting for 84.8 percent of the total export receipts in February 2013, outward shipments of Manufactured Goods was estimated at $3.173 billion, representing a decrease of 17.5 percent from $3.844 billion recorded in February 2012. Similarly, on a monthly basis, it went down by 3.3 percent from $3.281 billion recorded in January 2013.