THE Philippine exports have led the way to the continued expansion of global trade, spurred on by the gradual opening of major economies abroad as it contributed US$5.89 billion to total trade, or a 29.8 percent growth for May 2021, over the previous year’s $4.54 billion.
This effectively shrunk the balance of trade by $329.9 million from April 2021 figures, even as imports expanded 47.7 percent as demand for industrial inputs rose due to growing economic activity in the country.
The country’s total sales export in May 2021 came after an increase of 74.1 percent in the previous month.
“We are very optimistic that we can sustain this upward export performance trajectory as our major trading partners continue opening up their borders and easing travel restrictions, given the success rate in their vaccination drive. The same thing here in the country as we rolled out the vaccination program and allowed 100 percent operating capacity even during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ months of March and April of this year,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
Electronics top export
According to the data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, electronic exports continue to be the Philippines’ top exports with a 61.3 percent share to total exports, growing at a hefty 22.3 percent. Fastest growing sectors are medical/industrial instruments (240 percent growth), consumer electronics (216.2 percent), and office equipment (120.5 percent). Semiconductors, while only managing to grow 11.3 percent, are still the major contributor to the total electronics exports, with a share of 68.5 percent, valued at $2.53 billion.
Non-electronics products that performed beyond expectations include travel goods and handbags (884.1 percent), Christmas décor (433.6 percent), basketworks (380.7 percent), ceramic tiles (420.8 percent), and fine jewelry (390.7 percent). The trade chief explained that this is an indication of the gradual recovery of the consumer market as more people resume their lives interrupted by the pandemic. Total non-electronics exports expanded 20 percent year-on-year.
“As we focus our efforts on the key export sectors of our country, we hope to regain our lost opportunities due to the Covid-19 pandemic and maintain the momentum of accelerating our export growth,” Lopez added.
China continues to be the Philippines’ top market with a market share of 16.2 percent, amounting to $954.3 million, with growth tapering to 22.3 percent. The USA, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore complete the top five markets -- comprising 64.8 percent of total exports to the world. The USA market, in particular, expanded an impressive 84.6 percent, and if this growth continues, it is poised to overtake China as the Philippines’ top market in succeeding months. (PR)