PH exports contracted by 2.7% in January

31.9% dip in electronics shipments took its toll on trade, says NSO


Shipping containers of Philippine products for export sit stacked along the docks of the international container port in Manila on Sept. 11, 2012. Exports climbed 16.5 percent in December to $3.97 billion, the biggest rise in three months. AFP PHOTO/JAY DIRECTO

Philippine exports in January dropped for the first time in five months as demand for the country’s electronics products remained weak, the National Statistics Office reported Tuesday.

That month, total merchandise exports declined by 2.7 percent year on year to $4.01 billion due to slower sales of electronics and other items.

In particular, outbound shipments of electronics contracted 31.9 percent, the steepest drop in 14 months, the statistics office said on Tuesday.

The value of electronics exports also slumped to $1.47 billion, the lowest since February 2009 when the sector shipped out $1.35 billion.

But according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), semiconductor exports are expected to grow despite its 23.2 percent decline in Jan. 2013.

“The annual gain of worldwide chip sales recorded suggests an improvement for the industry for the year,” said Arsenio M. Balisacan, socioeconomic planning secretary and Neda’s director general.

In 2012, electronics shipments contracted by 5.2 percent.

Overall exports prospects would be even better if the United States and Europe could sustain their recovery throughout the year, Dr. Cid L. Terosa of the University of Asia and the Pacific said in a text message.

“Moreover, more orders for semiconductor equipment may be expected as indicated by the upward trend of book-to-bill ratios in major electronics production hubs like the US and Japan,” Balisacan said.

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) recorded an annual gain of 3.8 percent in worldwide chip sales.

Lower overseas sales of semiconductors (-23.2 percent), electronic data processing (-72.7 percent), copper metal (-78.9 percent), communication radar (-63.7 percent), consumer electronics (-53.4 percent) and machinery and transport equipment (-3.4 percent) accounted for the contraction of manufactures (-5.8 percent) during the month.

“The decline in semiconductors exports may be partly attributed to lower value of shipments to Singapore, China, the US and Japan, which accounted for more than half [51.6 percent] of the country’s semiconductor revenues,” said Balisacan.

Other manufactured exports that also declined year on year during the period were garments (-41.7 percent), machinery and transport equipment (-3.4 percent), miscellaneous manufactures (-13.9 percent), textile yarns/fabrics (-9.2 percent), iron and steel (-6.1 percent), and baby carriage and toys (-6.1 percent).

However, total agro-based exports were up by 33.3 percent ($388.9 million) in January 2013, from the $291.7 million posted in the same month last year.

“It should be noted that, despite the damage caused by Typhoon Pablo during the latter part of 2012, exports of bananas sustained robust growth in January,” Balisacan said.

Also, petroleum exports grew by 53.9 percent in January 2013 to $72.8 million from $47.3 million in the same period of 2012.

Japan was the top market of Philippine products, accounting for 19.2 percent of total receipts. Korea followed with a 14.1-percent share, the US with 13 percent, China with 10.5 percent, and Hong Kong with 8.2 percent.

Most Asian exporters are confronting uneven export growth as recovery slackens in some key economies such as the eurozone and the United States, to which the bulk of the region’s technology shipments go.

But some are optimistic that the trade picture will be better in the coming months.—With a report from Reuters

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  • Hayek_sa_Maynila

    Unless imports also shrink, this contraction in exports could translate to a slower first quarter GDP performance for the PHL. Both expansionary fiscal and monetary policies will have to be employed to help compensate for this foreign sales contraction. 

  • tower_of_power

    Sa mahal ng kuryente sa Pinas … sa taas ng tax … sa mahal ng tubig etc … etc … competitive pa rin ba ang magmanufacture sa Pinas? At sa gawain ng gobyerno na magpalit ng rules sa kalagitnaan ng laro … sino pa kaya ang maglalaro sa Pinsa? Kung meron man … yung mga laro na walang masyadong rules …. casinos ,,, stock market.   

    • Dexter Salas

      barely making it. I am in the manufacturing sector and i tell you electricity cost really sucks.

  • Weder-Weder Lang

    Let’s see the export figures for Feb 2013 when they become available.

  • Palparan

    ito ba ang pinag mayabang mo Abnoy? isa kang sin ungaling, ugok!!!!!!!!

    • Winzum Daoas

      This is already beyond the control of the president or any government of a country what another country wants to import. Besides, this is just the first month, the thing to take into consideration is the full year data. You are one of those people who look to discredit every gain because you have no understanding of them. This data is still better than the declines experienced by other countries and the slowdown in exports is because of the fault of the administrations all the way from Ramos because they failed to get a diversified export industry in the Philippines, which is why growth and contraction in our country’s exports is very volatile and depends upon a small number of key players.

      • Jun Jacinto

        so what else the president can control. he cannot even control his mouth from opening.

        He cannot control poverty? ano pa silbi niya.

      • RJ Legaspi

        Poverty is beyond the President’s control. It always lies on the hands of the people suffering from it.  

      • kangsongdaeguk

         i beg to partly disagree: mostly lies, not always.

      • tower_of_power

         I disagree with you that poverty is beyond the President’s control. It is the government headed by the President that designs the plans … executes the plans … and makes sure that progress is effected according to the plans. These plans are not confined in the field of economics but also in the field of education, justice system, peace and order etc etc……                                                                                                                                                                                    The govt must provide the people with an even playing field … must provide the much needed support (monetary and technical) … must provide them incentives to encourage them to do something … by the way, CCT, to me, is a way of telling the people that it pays not to work!!!!

      • leomar101

         Yes yes yes it’s the fault of the past president, but why did you stop until Ramos only? Why didn’t you include the mother of this son? hahaha Sort of saying that cory has no misgivings and fault.Hahahaha, for all you know all the loot of marcos was taken back by the aquino’s kamaganak.As you mentioned, the Philippines failed  to get a diversified export industry during those past presidents Now the present president failed in many things  either since  3 years already. On the economic aspect he doesn’t even have any economic legislative measures to show that he wants reforms to give a push on economic agenda that would create jobs on the country side. He even called only once the LEDAC in his 3 years sitting pretty all the time to give him an input on how to improve the lives of the people through economic activities. The truth is: the economic fundamentals which were in place during the past administration is bearing fruits today that’s why there was an increased in economic growth of 6.2 way below the 7.4 GDP of Arroyos last quarter growth. You can not always pass the blame to anybody when things goes wrong all the time. the fact is: siya  na ang presidente ngayon and that is his responsibility to lead the nation into peace and prosperity. Ano ang ginawa niya? Naka focus lang siya palagi sa kanyang galit kay Arroyo, he divide the country and feed it to its enemy. He is a traitor and give the Philippines part by part to the malaysians, to the chinese, to the MILF terrorists, to the communist-NDF faction. This is too much to bear to see our country being destroyed by this cabal BSA. And economically. he failed more because he failed to sustained the gains that were started by Arroyo.

    • Dan Santillan

      …and idiots like you got hold of the internet and posts imbecilic comments!

      • Palparan

        hala , cge! himud pa sa pwet ni AbnoY!

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