MAKATI CITY – Electronics exports grew by 0.3% to USD 3.24B in January 2021, compared to the same month last year. The slight uptick is driven by the 84.3% increase in exports of medical instrumentation, followed by consumer electronics, electronic data processing, and control & instrumentation, which grew by 28.2%, 24.4%, and 8.9% respectively.

Semiconductor exports, which comprise 73.2% of all electronics exports and 43.2% of all merchandise exports, slipped by 4.4% in the said period. This brings the overall merchandise exports to a 5.2% decline to USD 5.49B in January 2021 from USD 5.79B in January 2020.

“Philippine export trends were heavily influenced by the pandemic, from medical instrumentation for hospitals to consumer electronics for workers who had to work from home. As more markets open up, we are also looking forward to exporting more products,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.

For non-electronic products, basketwork doubled its sales to USD 5.61M in January 2021 compared to the same month in 2020. Sales of chemicals; iron and steel; and textiles also grew by 44.3%, 30.9%, and 27.3%, respectively.

Because of the prevailing travel restrictions, exports travel goods and handbags posted a 45.6% decline in the review period. Likewise, the garments exports and footwear exports also shrunk by 22.8% and 25.8%, respectively.

The US was still the Philippines’ top export market with 15.6% of all exports, followed by Japan (14.7%) and China (14.6%). However, out of the top 10 markets, only exports to China, Thailand, and Taiwan increased compared to January of last year.

Secretary Lopez encouraged Philippine exporters to avail themselves of the benefits from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), signed in November 2020, to increase exports to these countries. Seven of the country’s top 10 export markets, namely Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, and Korea are RCEP-members.

“All the RCEP participating countries took years to negotiate the largest trade deal in the world. Now that it’s signed, the Department of Trade and Industry will now focus on assisting exporters to fully utilize its benefits,” said Secretary Lopez.

The regional free trade agreement will promote greater openness, create a more business-friendly environment, encourage closer integration of economies, and provide a more stable and predictable rules-based system of trade.

Exporters interested to know more about trading under the RCEP can email the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau at For more information about the trade deal, visit ♦

Date of Release: 18 March 2021