October exports up 26.4%, highest in Asean

MANILA–The country’s export earnings reached US$4.74 billion in October, or 26.4 percent higher than last year’s level.

This is the highest export growth in Southeast Asia in October this year, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

“With a growth of 26.4 percent, the Philippines posted the highest export growth in Southeast Asia in October 2010. Other top performers in the region were Vietnam (22.8 percent) and Singapore (19.6 percent),” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano W. Paderanga Jr.

From January to October this year, export receipts amounted to US$43 billion, or 37.1 percent higher than in the same period last year.

“With this, we are very likely to exceed our target of 15 percent exports growth this year, since only US$1.4 billion is needed for the two remaining months to achieve the target,” Paderanga said.

Shipments of manufactured goods, which grew by 31.8 percent, mainly contributed to exports growth. Exports of manufactured goods stood at US$4.2 billion, or 88.6 percent of the total export receipts in October 2010. Semiconductors, machinery and transport equipment were the top manufactured exports for the month.

Semiconductors, which comprised half of the total exports, surged by 63.8 percent on account of improved foreign demand and higher prices over the previous year, according to Paderanga.

“The volume of shipments to main buyers like the Netherlands, Singapore, PR China, and Hong Kong SAR posted substantial increases while the implicit export price of semiconductors rose by 39.5 percent. The performance of the local electronics sector reflected the positive trend in the global semiconductor industry, which posted a 19.8 percent increase in October 2010,” Paderanga added.

The NEDA chief said that according to industry sources, future growth will come from the developing markets’ greater use of consumer electronics and mobile devices.

Meanwhile, the 66.1 percent increase in coconut exports buoyed agro-based export in October 2010. Coconut oil was the main driver, which surged by 81.8 percent.

“Philippine coconut exporters benefited from the higher world prices, which doubled in October, and the sustained demand for coconut oil by major buyers such as the United States and the Netherlands,” Paderanga said.

Singapore remained the top destination of Philippine merchandise exports with an 18.2 percent share in October, or about US$860.6 million. This is a 298.1 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Singapore’s substantial orders came from semiconductors, which grew 393.4 percent from last year; petroleum products, which increased 345.4 percent; and electronic data processing machines, which rose 71.5 percent on account of the 31.0 percent increase in industrial production.

Japan placed second, with a 16.1 percent share, followed by the United States (14.7 percent), PR China (11.8 percent), and Hong Kong, China (7.4 percent).

Shipments to China, including Hong Kong and Taipei, accounted for 22.4 percent of Philippine exports in October. On the other hand, exports to ASEAN countries accounted for 25.8 percent.

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