EXPORTS in Northern Mindanao reportedly show signs of recovery as indicated by its impressive performance in the first quarter of this year.

Based on a data from the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), total exports in the region reached US$199.18 million. It is up by 116 percent from last year’s US$92.36 million.

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Among all the provinces in the region, Misamis Oriental remained the top dollar earner contributing US$112.27 million, which is 84 percent more than its US$60.86 million record during the same period last year, while exports in Lanao del Norte grew by as much as 166 percent with US$61.61 million this year compared with last year’s US$23.15 million.

The provinces of Misamis Occidental, Bukidnon and Camiguin all posted increases this year with US$13.93 million, US$11.32 million and US$0.05 million, respectively.

Based on the Neda data, the overwhelming growth of exports in Misamis Occidental, which was only pegged at US$3.37 million in the first quarter of 2009, was due to the resumption of operation of two oil mills – Ozamco and Third Millenium Oil Mill – which generated a total of US$13.93 million.

For two straight quarters, Crude Coconut Oil, which is Lanao del Norte’s main exports, dominated the export earnings for the region contributing US$69.15 million, up by a whopping 408 percent from last year’s US$13.6 million.

The region’s dollar earnings still largely comes from coconut-based products, which include crude coconut oil, coconut oil, oleochemicals, copra expeller pellets and desiccated coconut, taking in a total of US$124.34 million.

Except for abaca fiber/pulp which registered slight decrease this year, the other commodities such as canned pineapple products, sintered ore, copra solvent pellets, prime cold/hot rolled coils, cane molasses, sawn/KD finished lumber/bare core and rubber all posted increases this year compared last year.