Exporters explore non-traditional markets, eye growth

CEBU exporters have explored other markets overseas amid the industry’s sluggish growth marred by global economic uncertainty.

Fred Escalona, executive director at the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport)- Cebu, said Cebu has started exporting, although in small quantities, to non-traditional markets.

Cebu’s export sector has earnestly been looking for new markets amid the sluggish demand from its traditional markets.

“Cebu exporters are exporting to Micronesia, Seychelles, Maldives, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Malta, Belize, Turks and Caicos, Swaziland and Zambia in small quantities,” Escalona told SunStar Cebu.

The US, Japan, Hong Kong, China and Singapore have remained Cebu’s top export markets.

Cebu exports also go to Thailand, Germany, South Korea, Taiwan and the Netherlands.

According to Escalona, Cebu has also diversified its products sold overseas such as electronics, furniture and processed food.

“If you take the province of Cebu including the processing zones you will note that these are quite big,” the export official said, citing emerging exports, namely transport vessels, carrageenan and seaweeds, watches, waste paper and steering wheels.

Escalona noted Cebu exporters are also now trading tubes and pipes, mattresses, copper ores, activated carbon, steel scrap, bottle cullers, glass scraps and tin can bundles.

Export performance

Earlier, Escalona said that the industry continues to see lackluster growth prospects this year amid crippling global trade brought about by the trade disputes between the world’s two biggest economies, the US and China.

Official Philexport data showed Cebu exports were down 22 percent in the first half to US$101.22 million from $130.04 million in the same period last year.

In the first six months, Cebu saw a total of 3,878 containers that came out of the city’s international port, down 19.38 percent from 4,810 last year, Philexport data further showed. The exporters group also registered a total of 2,872 entries or export documents filed during the period, down from 3,321 in the comparable period last year. (CSL)


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