Source: Manila Standard Today, November 12, 2007
Merchandise exports rebounded with a 4.7 percent year-on-year growth in September, after slumping 4 percent in August, as stronger shipments of copper metal, furniture and coconut oil offset the drop in sales of electronics and garments.
The National Statistics Office reported that export earnings in September reached $4.374 billion, up from $4.178 billion in September 2006. This was also 6.6 percent higher than $4.104 billion in August.
“Albeit at a slower pace, merchandise exports during January to September posted an increase of 4.9 percent to $37.203 billion from $35.481 billion during the same nine-month period in 2006,” the statistics office said.
The government was originally aiming at an export growth target of 10 percent this year, but the industry group, Philippine Exporters Confederation, was now looking at a moderate growth of 3 percent to 6 percent for 2007.
Government data showed that electronic exports fell 0.2 percent year-on-year to $2.656 billion in September, representing 60.7 percent of the aggregate export revenue during the month. “The year-on-year decline is due to the decrease in the outward shipments of electronic data processing and telecommunication,” the NSO said.
However, the NSO noted that compared with the previous month’s level, the September electronic exports actually posted an increase of 2.5 percent.
Garments, or articles of apparel and clothing accessories, the country’s second top-export earner with a combined share of 4.4 percent of the total, also shrank 16.8 percent to $193.03 million.
Shipments of copper cathodes, mainly by the country’s lone copper refiner Philippine Associated Smelting & Refining Corp., grew 28.4 percent to $126.79 million in September, reversing the double-digit drops in the previous months.
Sales of woodcrafts and furniture amounted to $88.92 million, up by 33.2 percent from $66.76 million a year ago, while exports of coconut oil surged 67.2 percent to $62.75 million.
Other top exports in September were ignition wiring sets, petroleum products, metal components and fresh bananas.
By commodity group, shipments of manufactured goods went up by 3.8 percent to $3.751 billion while sales of agricultural products increased 25.2 percent to $201.03 million.
Earnings from mineral products reached $227.73 million, recording an 18.6 percent increase from $191.99 million in September 2006. “This is due to the increase in the outward shipments of copper metal,” the NSO said.