Philippines' export performance best in Asia

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Philippine merchandise exports topped those of other Asian countries in the first 11 months of 2012, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said yesterday.

But private economists believe a strong rebound in outbound shipments may still be a long way off.

Merchandise exports earnings in November grew 5.5 per cent to US$3.551 billion, from the $3.366 billion seen the previous year. This brought year-to-date exports to $48.026 billion-7 per cent up from the $44.898 billion recorded in the same period of 2011, the National Statistics Office said.

Related story: Government eyes industry sector revival

The growth was due to higher value in shipments of such commodities as metal components, woodcraft and furniture, electronic products, cathodes, refined copper and ignition wiring sets, and other parts used in manufacturing vehicles, aircraft and ships.

On a monthly basis, exports contracted by 19.4 per cent from the $4.408 billion posted in October 2012.

"I expect similar (growth) trends in December, but I think a complete rebound isn't forthcoming because the [economies of] US and Europe have not recovered," Cid L. Terosa of the University of Asia and the Pacific said via text message.

For Benjamin E. Diokno of the UP School of Economics, the growth in November exports was "lacklustre".

Diokno said the outlook for Philippine exports continues to be "gloomy" due to three factors: a world economy that remains weak, an appreciating peso, and heavy reliance on electronic products.

Also read: Bullish economy reminiscent of pre-1997 crisis

"Exports of electronic products contracted by 5.19 year-to-date. This problem could be both transitory and structural. A strong recovery in December is unlikely," Diokno said via e-mail.

Electronics accounted for 48.8 per cent of total exports revenue last November, earning $1.734 billion-13.3 per cent up from the $1.523 billion reported a year ago. Semiconductors was the top earner in the electronics sector with $1.402 billion in receipts-a 15.5-per cent growth from the $1.213 billion seen in November 2011. But on a monthly basis, electronic products, as well as semiconductors, dropped 8.8 per cent and 10.4 per cent, respectively.

The next-best performers were woodcraft and furniture ($271.32 million, 56 per cent up from $173.9 million), apparel and clothing accessories ($113.7 million, 13.1 per cent down from $130.76 million), and electrical wiring harness for motor vehicles ($109.7 million, 6.2 per cent up from $103.31 million).

Metal components excluding brakes grew the fastest among the country's top exports with shipments worth $129.05 million-163.5 per cent up from $48.97 million.

Related story: As returns on Philippine markets rise, so do risks

Receipts from the top 10 exports reached $2.557 billion, accounting for 72 per cent of the total.

Japan was the top destination of Philippine exports accounting for 20.8-per cent share of the total with receipts worth $740.21 million.

The United States followed with $458.37 million in receipts, while Hong Kong received shipments worth $373.81 million.

COPYRIGHT: ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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