The Philippine merchandise exports started out strong this year, reflecting an increase of 8.9%, amounting to USD 6.04-B this month as compared to USD 5.55-B in January 2021, and even surpassed the 2020 pre-pandemic level by 4.16%, equivalent to USD 5.8-B. The said numbers were based on the preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which exemplified continuous growth for 11 months since March 2021.
Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez cited the encouraging recovery in most of the country’s global markets, especially prior to the Ukraine crisis as well as the earlier reopening of the export sector which were allowed 100% operating capacity even during the height of the pandemic.
Nearly half of the growth in exports for the month was driven by the increase in the country’s export of electronic products. Consistent with the long-standing structure of Philippine merchandise exports, electronics remain to be the largest driver of export sales amounting to USD 3.5 billion in total earnings this January which is equivalent to 58% of the total Philippine exports.
For January 2022, the country’s top electronic exports were components or devices (semiconductors), electronic data processing, other electronics, consumer electronics, telecommunications.
Meanwhile, for agricultural products, coconut oil recorded the highest growth in January 2022 with exports increasing by 110.1%, amounting to USD 178.8-M. This has contributed 18.9% which amounts to USD 93.7-M of the total export growth at the start of the year. Likewise, coconut oil exports reflected an increase of 27.3% as compared to 2017-2019 pre-pandemic levels. The increase in demand was driven by consumer trends, particularly the increased awareness of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle which are often attributed to products such as coconut oil.
Other major commodity groups that also contributed to export growth include other manufactured goods (53.4%), refined copper cathodes & sections of cathodes (46.0%), and electronic parts and equipment (6.8%).
The top five Philippine export markets for January 2022 were the United States (US), China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, accounting for 62.9% of the country’s total exports. Exports to the US in January 2022 was USD 935 million while exports to China amounted to USD 885 million.
Secretary Ramon M. Lopez is hopeful that the evolving Russia-Ukraine conflict will be short-lived so as not to massively disrupt the post-pandemic recovery that everyone is wishing to have. For inquiries regarding exports, you can email the DTI – Export Marketing Bureau at [email protected] or you may visit tradelinephilippines.dti.gov.ph.