PH merchandise exports suffer marginal drop in January 2015

MANILA, March 12 — Philippine export of minerals and agro-based products registered strong growth in January 2015, but weaker demand in manufactures and lower sales from petroleum pulled down total exports, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported Tuesday that the country’s merchandise exports reached US$4.36 billion in January, a marginal drop of 0.5 percent from last year’s US$4.38 billion. This is despite the 34-percent growth in export of mineral products and 12.9-percent growth in export of agro-based products.

2015_0312_arseniobalisacan2
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan.

Among major commodity groups, higher shipments of copper metal, copper concentrates, and iron ore agglomerates pushed mineral products to grow to US$201.0 million in January 2015 from US$150.0 million in the same month last year.

Likewise, export earnings from agro-based products grew to US$313.9 million in January 2015 from US$ 278.2 million in January 2014, due to increased outward shipments of other agro-based products, sugar, and coconut products.

Meanwhile, gains from exports of manufactured goods declined by 1.6 percent from US$3.8 billion in January 2014 to US$3.7 billion in the same period last year. This is due to lower outbound sales of other manufactured goods, wood manufactures, electronic equipment and parts, and chemicals.

Despite the slowdown, exports of electronic products continued to be strong with a 14.6 percent year-on-year increase in January 2015. This is largely backed by the 16.0 percent increase in outward shipments of semiconductors, which accounted for almost 69.0 percent of the country’s total electronic exports.

Similarly, export receipts from petroleum products remain affected by the continued decline in global crude oil prices.

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