Philippine exports posted an increase of 11% with total sales of $4.782 billion for the month of February 2017, marking its third month of positive growth according to a report released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

For February 2017, eight out of ten top major Philippine exported goods rose with electronic products comprising 51.6% of the total exports revenue amounting to $2.470 billion compared to $2.131 billion registered in the same period last year. Other products that increased include cathodes and sections of cathodes, of refined copper (946.9%); other mineral products (107.5%); coconut oil (66.5%); electronic equipment and parts (64.9%); metal components (29.4%); other manufactures (20.1%); electronic products (15.9%); and chemicals (9.6%).

United States (US) topped other Philippine export destinations for the said month, accounting for 15.6% to total exports with receipts valued at $745.22 million. It is followed by Japan with 15.25% share with revenues amounting to $728.35 million.

The increase in February 2017 exports lifted the cumulative value of merchandise exports by 17.36% for the first two months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, based on preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Continued export growth can be attributed to the significant increase of Philippine electronic products by 13.24% in the first two months of 2017. This stemmed from the positive performance of the six out of nine subsectors of the industry which contributed 96.74% share in the cumulative total value of the industry.

Department of Trade and Industry’s Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) noted that the increasing efforts of the Philippines in strengthening ties with its ASEAN neighbors including China is expected to sustain the growth of the sector in the coming months.

“Enhancing trade promotion efforts to huge consumer markets is seen as a viable strategy in sustaining the performance of Philippine exports in the coming months,” said DTI-EMB Director Senen M. Perlada.

As the Philippines serves host for this year’s ASEAN Summit, the country is pushing for the conclusion of the ASEAN-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations. RCEP is the free trade agreement being advocated by the ASEAN 10-member states with its six (6) dialogue partners including China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and India.

“RCEP is the chance to balance the country’s trade deficit, especially with China,” emphasized Perlada.

Among selected trade-oriented economies in Asia, the Philippines placed 9th in terms of exports growth, a decline after it placed third last month. Vietnam topped the list for February 2017 with 29.6% recorded exports growth, a significant increase after dropping to among the worst performers for January 2017.

“We see a trend of recovery among economies in the first two months of 2017. For us in the Philippines, the numbers are healthy. While we ranked 9th for this month, on a year-to-date (YTD) analysis among selected trade-oriented economies, we placed third in terms of export growth. This is a signal of a robust export sector,” explained Perlada.