MAKATI – Philippine merchandise exports continued to grow for the third consecutive month, increasing by 1.5% in June this year to USD6.0B from USD5.9B in the same month last year, preliminary Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data showed.

The year-on-year increase also brings the growth rate for the 2nd quarter of 2019 to 1.2% compared to last year’s quarter figures. In addition, Philippine merchandise exports also posted a 7.8% rise quarter-on-quarter.

The Philippines (PH) is one of the three countries among major trade-oriented Asian economies, alongside Vietnam and Taiwan, that recorded positive year-on-year export growth rate in June 2019.

The increase was caused by the higher demand from major trading partners such as South Korea whose imports from the Philippines rose by 59.9% or an increase of USD113.4 M in exports value; US, 9.2% or USD82.3 M; Canada, 122% or USD52.7 M; China, 5.7% or USD44.4 M; Vietnam, 26.1% or USD21.5 M; and Japan, 2.0% or USD17.3 M.

The positive export performance shows that the Philippines continues to be resilient despite the continuing concerns on the US-China trade war, a no-deal BREXIT, and the negative business sentiment that could further weigh down on the growth of global trade,” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said.

In addition, the good showing in June was due to the increases in export sales of the seven of the top 10 major export commodities, namely, cathodes and section of cathodes, of refined copper (41.7%); fresh bananas (24.4%); ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships (17.6%); gold (10.1%); electronic products (4.3%); machinery and transport equipment (3.0%) and other mineral products (1.1%).

Upsurge in exports of electronics were recorded for the Korea (up by USD106.7 M), US (USD96.9 M), China (USD30.9 M), Vietnam (USD27.4 M), and Indonesia (USD12.1 M).

Meanwhile, Japan took in more ignition wiring imports from PH (up by USD29.5 M) and Canada, copper concentrates (USD37.9 M), its first shipment in the six months from zero exports in the same period last year.

As long as export growth remains strong in the next months, the Philippines could reach its 2% target for 2019. In this regard, the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) sees total PH merchandise exports increasing by 2.3% in July 2019. Exports of some selected sectors that are projected to rise in July 2019 include Ignition Wiring, 10.6% and Chemicals, 9.6%.

To sustain the projected growth, the DTI intensifies its efforts at diversifying markets and products as well as promoting the PH exports competitiveness through advancing the export development and promotion goals and advocating the Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy (i3S).


Diversification of markets and products

In 2018, PH’s top 10 export markets comprised 82% of total exports. These markets were China and Hong Kong, Germany, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Netherlands, and USA.

The DTI-EMB aims to further explore key emerging markets such as Africa, South Asia, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe. These markets were chosen based on the country’s economic growth, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, population, ease of doing business, political climate, and the Philippine’s trade and foreign policy directives.

To this end, the DTI-EMB recently organized an outbound business matching mission (OBMM) to Mexico and is currently setting its sights on other missions including India, Bangladesh, Russia, Egypt, and Ethiopia.

During the consultation with the private sectors, it was recommended for the country to focus on strengthening retail and institutional packing of food products, PH brands, and original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

Moreover, the DTI targets to expand the halal promotion and development by urging micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to develop their products and explore the opportunities in the growing demand for halal-certified products. The Philippine Halal programs are being cascaded through the Negosyo Centers of the DTI and other regional offices. ♦

Date of Release: 14 August 2019