Export earnings down 15.6% in February to $3.74BBy Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The value of Philippine exports fell 15.6 percent year on year to $3.74 billion in February, much worse than the decline in January, as hints of a recovery in electronics failed to materialize.
Compared to the shipments in January worth $4.01 billion, February exports represented a decrease of 6.7 percent.
The latest figures from the National Statistics Office showed that exports in December, which jumped 16.5 percent, capped a four-month rally.
NSO data also showed that the decline in the value of electronics products—the top export item that accounted for about two-fifths of total outbound cargoes—reached the worst in three months at -36.6 percent year on year to $1.48 billion in February.
Electronics shipments continued to fall as cargoes of semiconductor components and devices—which constituted three-tenths of total exports—similarly shrank by two-digit rates for the second month in a row.
NSO data further showed that receipts from the country’s second top export, “other manufactures,” improved by 52 percent to $324.11 million. Metal components placed third, with the value quadrupling to $290.66 million.
Fourth on the list were woodcraft and furniture, which jumped 33 percent to $219.22 million. Fifth were articles of apparel and clothing accessories, which eased by one percent to $144.7 million.
Also on the list of top 10 earners were automotive wiring sets, up 26 percent to $137.89 million; machinery and transport equipment, down 64 percent to $131.5 million; chemicals, up 10 percent to $122.4 million; special transactions, down 38 percent to $90.37 million; and coconut oil, up 246 percent to $79.43 million.
In February, Japan was the Philippines’ top export market with 19 percent of total outbound shipments, but the value fell 11 percent to $705.93 million. Exports to the United States followed with 16 percent of the total but valued at $594.9 million, down 14 percent. China placed third with 10 percent of cargoes, down 35 percent to $380.67 million.