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TMCNet:  October exports rise 6.1% to $4.408 billion

[December 11, 2012]

October exports rise 6.1% to $4.408 billion

Dec 12, 2012 (The Manila Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Philippine exports expanded by 6.1 percent to $4.408 billion in October this year, making the Philippines one of the strongest performers among its selected East and Southeast Asian neighbors for the first 10 months of the year, the National Economic and Development Authority (neda) said on Tuesday.

Data from the National Statistics Office (NSO) showed that October export earnings were higher than the $4.156 billion recorded a year ago.

The growth was attributed by the increase in value of shipments of commodities such as tuna; bananas; cathodes and sections of cathodes, of refined copper; petroleum products; metal components; woodcrafts and furniture; coconut oil; and electronic products.

"The growth in banana exports, which contributed about 1.2 percentage points to overall export increase, reflects positive expectations of global demand, specifically from China, which is seen to buy more food products due to the approaching winter season," according to NEDA Officer-in-Charge Rolando Tungpalan.

Meanwhile, the NEDA official also stated that coconut oil exports mainly benefited from the robust demand of the country's traditional foreign markets, as well as the ample domestic supply of the commodity.

Month-on-month, NSO data showed that October exports contracted by 7.9 percent from $4.784 billion posted in the previous month.

For the first 10 months of 2012, cumulative merchandise exports recorded a positive growth of 7.1 percent to $44.475 billion from $41.532 billion posted during the same period of 2011, while the total volume of outward shipments for the month increased by 39.2 percent year-on-year.

"The year-to-date exports growth of 7.1 percent made the Philippines among the top three performers among selected East and Southeast Asian economies for the said period," Tungpalan noted.

Citing country data, he added that other countries that posted positive exports growth were Vietnam, 18.7 percent; China, 7.8 percent; Hong Kong, 1.4 percent; and Thailand, and Singapore, both 0.3 percent.

"The positive outturn of our exports in October reflected the strengthening global economic activity as industrial production and business sentiment indicators primarily point upward," the NEDA official further said.

Share of electronics On the other hand, NSO data showed that electronic products in October 2012 slightly grew by 0.3 percent in October 2012 and continue to be the country's top export, as it shared 43.1 percent of the total export revenue.

On a monthly basis, growth of electronic products as well as semiconductors showed a positive growth of 3.8 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively.

"The growth in the country's semiconductor exports partly reflected the increase in chip sales in the American region, particularly in the United States. However, the positive performance of electronics exports was slightly offset by the performance of electronic data processing [EDP]. Weak sales of EDP units continued to reflect the consumers' greater preference for lower-end desktop PCs [personal computers] and notebook computers over higher-performance models on the back of a still sluggish global economy," said Tungpalan.

Other top exports were woodcrafts and furniture, $237.25 million; cathodes and sections of cathodes, of refined copper, $149.63 million; ignition wiring set and other wiring sets, $124.85 million; and metal components, $117.59 million.

Furthermore, the data showed that the growth of exports receipts from major commodity groups such as manufactures (6.5 percent), minerals (21.5 percent), petroleum products (43.5 percent) and total agro-based products (1.6 percent) contributed to the country's performance in October 2012.

"The increased demand for manufactures was largely due to firming industrial activity in developing economies and in some advanced regions. Exports of Philippine manufactures were supported by electronic equipment and parts, processed food and beverages, wood manufactures, and machinery and transport equipment," Tungpalan noted.

The data further showed that Japan emerged the country's top export destination in October 2012 with revenues amounting to $730.71 million. It took up a 16.6-percent share of the total exports for October, lower by 12.9 percent compared with the $838.74 million recorded a year ago.

Japan was followed by Hong Kong, $646.93 million; United States, $583.56 million; China, $548.43 million; and South Korea, $192.80 million.

___ (c)2012 The Manila Times (Manila, Philippines) Visit The Manila Times (Manila, Philippines) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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