Exports in the first 10 months jumped 16.1 percent year-on-year to $62.10 billion, with electronic products contributing the highest sales, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show.
The Department of Trade and Industry said despite some disruptions in the reopening of the global economy and in international trade, merchandise exports increased 2 percent year-on-year to $6.4 billion in October this year from $6.3 billion a year ago.
“This positive development despite global trade challenges is also attributed to the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases not to disrupt exporters’ operations by allowing 100-percent capacity even during the enhanced community quarantine and stricter alert levels. This, thus, boosted the performance of the sector and allowed them to fulfill their commitments to the global market,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
The PSA said that by commodity group, electronic products remained the country’s top export in October with total earnings of $3.65 billion, accounting for 57.0 percent of the total exports in the month. This was followed by other manufactured goods with an export value of $350.18 million (5.5 percent); and other mineral products which amounted to $298.48 million (4.7 percent).
Exports in October increased 2 percent to $6.41 billion, following a 6.4-percent growth in September. In October 2020, export sales were down 0.9 percent.
The PSA said that of the 10 major commodity groups in terms of the value, seven recorded annual increases led by coconut oil (76.9 percent); cathodes and sections of cathodes, of refined copper (56.0 percent); and chemicals (53.7 percent).
With manufacturing activity in China starting to pick up, the Chinese market topped the list of Philippines’ export market in October, accounting for 15.8-percent share. The US, Hong Kong and Japan closely followed at 15.0-percent, 13.5-percent and 13.4-percent shares, respectively.
With exporters continuing to face challenges brought about by shipping issues, Philippine exports to China and Hong Kong increased of the top 10 export markets of the country.
“Philippine exports are highly concentrated not just on a few sectors but also on a few firms, particularly in electronics. COVID-19 has further highlighted the importance of actively seeking new markets and diversifying export products in building a resilient and agile export industry,” said Lopez.
In 2020, more than 3,700 exporters accessed new markets (both traditional and non-traditional) to dampen the economic impact of COVID-19. The Philippines also recorded new exports in 32 product lines that were not previously exported in the last five years.
“We need to actively pursue export diversification strategies, both in terms of markets, products and services to ensure long-term export competitiveness of the country and improve resiliency to future shocks,” Lopez said.
Meanwhile, imports in the first 10 months hit $95.31 billion, an increase of 29.7 percent from the import value of $73.48 billion a year earlier. Electronic products accounted for the highest import value among commodity groups.
“Most of the imported goods were electronic products with an import value of $2.85 billion or a share of 27.4 percent to the total imports in October 2021. This was followed by mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, valued at $1.65 billion [15.8 percent]; and transport equipment which amounted to $567.68 million [5.4 percent],” the PSA said.
Total imported goods in October amounted to $10.43 billion, up by 25.1 percent from a year ago. “The annual increment of imported goods in October 2021 was due to the increase in eight of the top 10 major commodity groups which was led by mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials with 163.7 percent increase,” the PSA said.