Philippine Export growth rises to 19% $4.3 Billion USD in April 2011

Business & Economy: Philippines - Merchandise exports rose by an annual 19.1 percent in April 2011, their fastest growth rate this year, as shipments to Japan remained strong despite the natural and nuclear disasters there,  as announced by the Govt last Thursday June 9, 2011.

The Philippines’ export bill rose to $4.3 Billion Dollars in April from $3.611 billion a year ago, after the 4.1 percent annual rise in March, data from the National Statistics Office showed.

Month on month, however, April exports were down 1.2 percent from March’s $4.353 billion.

Electronics shipments, which dominate exports, fell 2.1 percent from last year, the third successive monthly decline. Electronics made up 49.9 percent of April revenues.

Exports to Japan, the country’s top market during the month, rose 20.2 percent in April to $741.88 million. Exports to the United States, the second-biggest export destination, were down 1.3 percent from a year earlier.

Analysts said the crisis in Japan had affected trade, but the impact was limited so far, and strong growth levels are expected later this year.

“While the electronics sector suffered from the supply chain disruption following the

Japan’s earthquake... non-electronic exports have seen strong performance,” said Vincent Tsui, Standard Chartered Bank economist.

“This reflects the impact of Japan’s earthquake on headline economic growth to be much moderate, with limited impact on net exports, and trade performance set to rebound in the upcoming months as Japan’s manufacturers gradually report restoration of production facilities, this should support revival of processing trade in electronic products going forward.”

“Surprisingly, exports to Japan climbed 20.2 percent year-on-year, though slipped on the month, and we expect the slowdown in purchases from the key export destination to reflect in the rest of the quarter,” added Radhika Rao, economist at Forecast Pte, Singapore.

Exports are estimated to climb between nine percent to ten percent this year, and 12 percent next year. Imports are expected to rise 17 percent to 18 percent in 2011, and 18 percent in 2012. Exports grew 34 percent and imports 27 percent in 2010.

The Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines is still hopeful of hitting at least the lower end of its export growth target of eight percent to 12 percent this year, but the head of the industry group has said it would be difficult to achieve.

The Philippines provides about 10 percent of the world’s semiconductor manufacturing services, including for mobile phone chips and micro processors.

Other top Philippine exports include garments and accessories, wood furniture, vehicle parts, coconut oil, and tropical fruits.

Exports account for about two-fifths of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), based on expenditure terms.


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