Exports hit 3-year high in February
MANILA, Philippines—Philippine exports rose to a three-year peak in February due to the heavy volume of electronics and other commodities shipped out, according to official data released on Thursday.
The growth in exports for the month reflected higher demand for the country’s products overseas, fueled by improved economic conditions of major trading partners such as China, Japan and the United States.
“Compared to the manufacture-driven growth in January 2014, the export performance in February 2014 was more broad-based, as all major commodity groups registered gains,” said Emmanuel Esguerra, deputy director general of the National Economic Development Authority (Neda).
Merchandise exports, measured by their dollar value, expanded by 24.4 percent last February to $4.7 billion from $3.7 billion in the same month last year. The growth in February was also better than the 9.3-percent expansion recorded in January.
“Most of the selected economies in the East and Southeast Asian region posted positive export growth rates in February 2014, led by Vietnam and the Philippines,” Esguerra said.
Japan remains the top destination of Philippine goods in February, with shipments totaling $1.2 billion. It accounted for about 25.4 percent of the country’s total revenues from merchandise exports.
The People’s Republic of China followed with a 14.7-percent share after the country’s outbound shipments of electronic data processing (EDP) machines, semiconductors and chemicals grew by a hefty 79.3 percent in February.
Other top markets for Philippine exports were the United States (13.4% percent), Hong Kong (7 percent), Singapore (6.7 percent) and South Korea (4.5 percent).
Export earnings from manufactures grew year on year by 22.4 percent that same month to $3.9 billion from last year’s $3.2 billion, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.
This was due to significant revenues from electronic products, wood manufactures, chemicals, electronic equipment and parts, processed food beverages, furniture and fixtures, non-metallic mineral manufactures, travel goods and handbags, baby carriage and toys, iron and steel, textile yarns and fabrics, and footwear.
Mineral products registered export earnings worth $237.3 million last February—139.9 percent up year on year due to higher revenues from copper concentrates, gold and chromium ore.
The two-month contraction in exports of agriculture-based products also ended, the PSA said. About $408 million worth of agricultural products were shipped during the month—up 18.7 percent year on year.