In the midst of the onslaught of the COVID-19 global pandemic was the Philippine merchandise exports industry ballooning by 2.8% in February 2020 to USD5.4B from USD5.3B as compared to the same time performance period last year according to recent preliminary Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data.
Semiconductors remained as the top export product, comprising of 75.7% of electronics exports and 41.7% of all merchandise exports.
This was the second consecutive month of positive growth, after a tremendous 9.7% growth in January 2020. Cumulatively, merchandise exports grew by 6.1% in the first two months of 2020 to USD11.2B from USD10.5B in the same period in 2019.
The Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) pointed out that for February, six of the top 10 export products recorded positive growth. These namely being:
1) Other manufactured goods (45.0%);
2) Fresh bananas (29.6%);
3) Other mineral products (13.2%);
4) Machinery and transport equipment (11.7%);
5) Gold (6.0%); and
6) Electronic products (3.4%).
The majority of export products were still electronic products at 55.1% while non-electronics made up the remaining 44.9%
After jumping to a 15.8% increase in January, electronics exports grew again in February by 9.7%—improving on the negative 0.5% growth as recorded in the same period in 2019.
Meanwhile, exports of non-electronic products rose from a 24-month decline with a 2.0% expansion to USD5.0B year-to-date (YTD) from USD4.9B recorded in 2019.
Exports also grew in 7 out of the top 10 markets the Philippines.
Exports to Malaysia increased the most at 28.5% YTD to USD340M.
Followed by South Korea with an 18.9% growth to USD490M and Thailand with a 15.3% growth to USD500M respectively.
Also growing in February for Philippine exports was its’ top three markets: namely China, including Hong Kong; Japan; and the USA.
These three countries consists of 57.3% of all Philippine merchandise exports in the review period.
The Philippines was also amongst the 5 of 11 Asian countries deemed as trade-oriented economies that experienced positive year-to-date growth—with the Philippines even ranking 3rd in year-to-date and 9th in year-on-year (YOY) exports. However, the significant performer, Vietnam, which posted a 50% YOY export growth, can be attributed to shipments of new Samsung S20 phones, according to Bloomberg.
On the other hand, Chinese exports declined the most at 17.3% in February, as the country battled the COVID-19 pandemic.
In other notes
The DTI-EMB is conducting an online survey to PH exporters on the “Impact of COVID on Your Export Business”. The survey seeks to learn and understand the impact of COVID-19 on the exporters’ businesses, with the results to be used as basis for a data-driven recovery plan to be crafted by DTI-EMB for the Philippine export sector.
Stay updated with news and information from the Department of Trade and Industry by visiting their website at https://www.dti.gov.ph.