Exports dip by 2.7%-A A +A
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
LOWER sales of semiconductors, among others, led the country’s total export performance to decline by 2.7 percent in January, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) reported.
However, agricultural exports grew by 33.3 percent to US$388.9 million, compared to the same month last year.
Manufactured exports, overall, declined in January. Among the hardest hit were semiconductors (-23.2 percent), electronic data processing (-72.7 percent), copper metal (-78.9 percent), communication radars (-63.7 percent), consumer electronics (-53.4 percent), and machinery and transport equipment (-3.4 percent).
Neda tried to soften the blow, saying it expects improvements later this year.
“The annual gain of worldwide chip sales recorded suggests an improvement for the industry for the year,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan.
Based on a report of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), worldwide chip sales recorded an annual gain of 3.8 percent.
“Moreover, more orders for semiconductor equipment may be expected as indicated by the upward trend of book-to-bill ratios in major electronics production hubs like the United States and Japan,” the Neda director-general said in a press statement.
Balisacan also said the decline in semiconductors may be attributed to the lower value of shipments to Singapore, the People’ Republic of China, the US and Japan, which accounted for more than half (51.6 percent) of the country’s semiconductor revenues.
Other manufactured exports that also declined year-on-year during the period were garments (-41.7 percent), miscellaneous manufactures (-13.9 percent), textile yarns/fabrics (-9.2 percent), iron and steel (-6.1 percent) and baby carriages and toys (-6.1 percent).
However, total agro-based exports were up by 33.3 percent from US$291.7 million and a 12.4 percent contraction in January last year.
The Neda statement attributed this growth to higher exports of bananas (151.7 percent), coconut oil (27.3 percent), copra meal/cake (380.8 percent), centrifugal and refined sugar (28.9 percent), natural rubber (222.3 percent), molasses (83.1 percent), pineapple concentrates (181.8 percent), pineapple juice (26.2 percent), fish products (1.9 percent) and ramie fibers (100.0 percent).
“It should be noted that despite the damage caused by Typhoon Pablo in major banana plantations during the latter part of 2012, exports of bananas sustained robust growth in January 2013,” Balisacan said.
Petroleum exports also grew by 53.9 percent in January 2013 to US$72.8 million.
Japan was the top market, accounting for 19.2 percent of total exports from the Philippines. Following Japan were the Republic of Korea with a 14.1 percent share, the US (13.0 percent), China (10.5 percent), and Hong Kong (8.2 percent).
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 13, 2013.