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Philippine export growth slows in April to 0.8%

Publication Date : 11-06-2014


 The value of products exported by the Philippines was flat in April as growth in petroleum and agricultural goods were offset by declines in electronics and garments shipments, data released Tuesday showed.

Growth in shipments was significantly slower than the month before but as the year progresses, electronics exports are expected to recover, driven by rising demand from advanced markets like the United States and Japan, among others.

“This slower export growth is not expected to persist in the long-term,” Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said in a statement.

Exports were up 0.8 per cent to $4.54 billion in April. In March, exports were up 12.4 per cent.

For the four months ending April, total exports rose 5.4 per cent to $18.9 billion, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

Balisacan, who heads the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), said the gradual recovery of the global economy continued to firm up as demand from the Philippines’ other major export markets picked up strongly in April.

These markets were Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Germany, Taiwan and Netherlands.

Japan remained the country’s top export market, accounting for 20.7 per cent of all shipments. The US and China were next with shares of 16.2 and 12.6 per cent, respectively.

Balisacan noted that the Semiconductors and Electronics Industries of the Philippines remained optimistic that the chip sector would bounce back. The industry group is sticking to its 5-per cent growth target for 2014.

Exports were supported by higher revenues from fruits and vegetables, coconut products, sugar products as well as other agro-based commodities, the PSA said.

“The strong sales of fruits and vegetables was mostly due to increased receipts from bananas and pineapple juice,” Balisacan said.

Supporting the overall growth of banana exports was the strong demand from the country’s main export markets such as Japan, China and South Korea.

The government said improvements in supply came following the rehabilitation of banana plantations that were damaged by Typhoon Pablo in December 2012.

Similarly, exports of petroleum rose by more than a third or 38.5 per cent, reflecting ramped up domestic oil production in the first quarter of 2014 from the Galoc oil field, in addition to the elevated international price of crude oil.


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