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NEWS UPDATES 14 July 2010

Philippine Exports rebound to pre-crisis level

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Sales of Philippine exports soared in May due to strong shipments of electronic products—the country’s key export—but the industry warned of a softer market in the second half of the year. In a statement, the National Statistics Office on Tuesday reported that export earnings in May went up by 37.3 percent to US$4.239 billion from $3.088 billion a year ago, when shipments contracted by 26.9 percent.

The growth in May was the highest since September 2008 or before the collapse of financial markets worldwide, the NSO told the Manila Times.

Last May’s figure led exports to grow by 38.7 percent in the first five months to $19.16 billion.

Electronics, which accounted for 60.3 percent of the total revenues in May, rose 41 percent to $2.55 billion from last year’s $1.811 billion.

Month-on-month, electronic products also increased by 16.5 percent from $2.193 billion in April.

In a briefing, the Semiconductor and Electronics Industry in the Philippines Inc. (Seipi) said the group may revisit its growth projection for the year in light of a still fragile global economy.

Ernesto Santiago, Seipi president, said they received initial reports from member firms that their exports may soften in the second half of this year.

“A softening of the semiconductor and consumer electronics market will likely happen by the end of the third quarter or the start of the fourth quarter,” he said.

Seipi last month jacked up to between 25 percent and 30 percent its growth forecast for 2010.

“The 25-percent to 30-percent target is still a doable target,” Santiago said, while adding that Seipi would review if the projection should be reverted back to 20-percent.

The government assumes an 18-percent growth goal for this year.

Despite a possible slowdown, investments in the country’s semiconductor and electronics industry are going up, Seipi said.

Santiago said investments in the first five months of this year surged 957 percent to $437 million, already surpassing inflows in 2008 worth $397 million. The year-to-date inflows are also several million dollars shy of last year’s $460-million.

He said it is possible that investments could reach the $1-billion mark.

In its report, the NSO said coconut oil exports also helped drive up the country’s dollar receipts in May. Shipments amounted to $110.13 million, up by 188.8 percent from $38.14 million in the same period last year.

Sales of articles of apparel and clothing accessories, the country’s second top-seller, went up by 36.9 percent to $150.97 million from $110.28 million last year.

The U.S. was the Philippines’ top market with revenue amounting to $687.55 million, or 38.9 percent higher than the $494.93 million recorded a year ago.

Japan followed with purchases worth $616.93 million or 14.6 percent of the total exports.

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