Saturday, 23 May 2009

Philippine exports up 15.9% in March from April

MANILA (PND) --- Philippine exports in March 2009 increased by 15.9 percent over that of February with majority of commodity groups posting month-on-month growth, indicating an easing of the recession in the country’s foreign markets.

Merchandise exports in March 2009 amounted to $2.9 billion compared to $4.2 billion for the same period last year, but better than last February’s $2.5 billion.

The figure represents the sixth consecutive month of export contraction as all major commodity groups, except for forest products, posted significant year-on-year declines.

On a cumulative basis, export revenues for the first quarter of 2009 amounted to $7.9 billion, 36.8 percent lower that the same period in 2008.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said in a memorandum to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that the Philippines’ Asian neighbors likewise experienced slowing down of their exports decline in March.

Malaysia’s export decline eased to 15.6 percent in March (from 15.9 percent in February); Hong Kong, 20.5 percent in March (from 22.4 percent in February); Singapore, 21 percent (from 24 percent in February) and China, 17.1 percent (from 25.7percent in February).

Exports of electronics and machinery/transport equipment, two of the country’s major manufactured products grew by 19.9 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively even as garments exports declined by 7.6 percent from Feb. 2009.

The slight rebound in electronics exports for March compared to February followed global trends where global sales of semiconductors grew by 3.3 percent with demand stabilizing somewhat as reported by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

Sales in the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific grew by 5.1 percent, 3.1 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively. Sales in Japan, however, were sharply lower by 9.4 percent from Feb. 2009.

On the bright side, the “global semiconductor manufacturing industry is expected to take a breather in the second quarter, as utilization rises by 60 percent as reported by iSupply Inc., a market research company.

Majority of the country’s electronics exports for March went to China, the Netherlands, United States, Japan and Hong Kong.

Agro-based products exports grew by 8.1 percent in March; mineral products, 5.7 percent, and petroleum products, 7.8 percent. Growth rates of these commodity groups, however, are still in negative territory compared to March 2008.

Export receipts from forest products increased by 22.4 percent and 48.8 percent, for month-on-month and year-on-year, respectively.

The United States remained the biggest market for Philippine goods with 17.3 percent share of total revenues for March 2009, followed by Japan with 15.4 percent share. Other major export markets were China, 106 percent; Hong Kong, 9.4 percent and the Netherlands, 9.2 percent. The aggregated shipments to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan reached 23.3 percent of merchandise exports in March 2009.

Leading exports were semiconductors, electronics data processing (EDP) machines and garments which made up 65 percent of the total shipments to the five biggest export markets in March 2009.

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