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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        22  April 2011

Short-term disaster effect on Philippines electronics

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The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has said the impact of the earthquake and powerful tsunami that hit Japan last March 11 on the export earnings of the country’s electronics industry would be temporary.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director General Cayetano Paderanga Jr. said in a statement that the twin disasters’ effect on electronics demand may affect the Philippines’ export performance but only in the short term.

“There are indications that the softening demand will be compounded in the coming months by shortages of certain electronic components due to disasters in Japan that have started to negatively affect the electronics industry,” Paderanga stressed.

Data from the National Statistics Office (NSO) showed that the country’s merchandise exports grew by 10 percent to US$7.865 billion in the first two months of the year from $7.15 billion in the same period last year.

For the month of February alone, export growth slowed to 8.2 percent to $3.864 billion from $3.57 billion in the same month last year.

Electronic products, which accounted for more than half of total export revenue in February, retreated by 2.7 percent to $2.071 billion while shipments of semiconductors that comprised more than a third of the total declined by 3.8 percent.

“The reduced earnings from semiconductors in February 2011 were partly attributed to the imbalanced supply and demand. Prices are declining, despite the build-up of inventories that still have the capacity to accommodate demand until June 2011,” Paderanga said.

Japan was the top destination of Philippine-made products in February accounting for about 17.2 percent or $665.7 million of the country’s total exports. Shipments to Japan included semiconductors, wood manufactures, chemicals, and electronic equipment and parts.

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