Despite some disruptions in the reopening of the global economy and in international trade, cumulative Philippine exports reached $62.1 billion in January-October 2021, growing by 16.1% compared to the same period last year and 5.71% higher than the pre-pandemic average values from 2016 to 2019.
Merchandise exports increased by 2% year-on-year (YOY) to $6.4 billion in October this year from $6.3 billion in October 2020.
“This positive development despite global trade challenges is also attributed to the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) not to disrupt exporters’ operations by allowing 100% capacity even during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and stricter Alert Levels. This, thus, boosted the performance of the sector and allowed them to fulfill their commitments to the global market,” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
Exports of manufactured goods amounted to $5.3B or 82.0% of total exports for the month, followed by mineral products with $551.8M (8.6%) and total agro-based products with $456.2 million (7.1%).
Electronics exports grew by 15.3% to $38.0 billion in the first 10 months of the year. The top electronics exports for the month were components/devices (semiconductors), electronic data processing, other electronics, and telecommunication.
Strong growths were also recorded in the export of other manufactured goods and other mineral products which grew by 24.6% and 25.8%, respectively.
Non-electronics exports also increased by 3.4% to $2.5 billion in October 2021 from $2.4 billion in October 2020.
With manufacturing activity in China starting to pick up, the Chinese market topped the list of Philippines’ export market in October, accounting for 15.8% share to total exporters. The US, Hong Kong and Japan followed closely at 15.0%, 13.5% and 13.4% shares, respectively.
With exporters continuing to face challenges brought about by shipping issues, only Philippine exports to China and Hong Kong increased out of the top 10 export markets of the country.
“COVID-19 has further highlighted the importance of actively seeking new markets and diversifying export products in building a resilient and agile export industry.”
“Philippine exports are highly concentrated not just on a few sectors but also on a few firms, particularly in electronics. COVID-19 has further highlighted the importance of actively seeking new markets and diversifying export products in building a resilient and agile export industry,” Lopez stressed.
In 2020, more than 3,700 exporters accessed new markets (both traditional and non-traditional) to dampen the economic impact of COVID-19.
The Philippines also recorded new exports in 32 product lines that were not previously exported in the last five years.
“We need to actively pursue export diversification strategies, both in terms of markets, products and services to ensure long-term export competitiveness.”
“We need to actively pursue export diversification strategies, both in terms of markets, products and services to ensure long-term export competitiveness of the country and improve resiliency to future shocks,” the trade chief added.