The Philippine exports rebounded strongly in September to $6.2 billion, a 2.2% increase from a -12.8% decline recorded in August, according to Philippine Statistics Authority data.
“We are glad to see positive results in our merchandise exports despite the challenges brought by the pandemic to the international trade market. This gives a positive outlook on our economic recovery efforts even as we ensure the market accessibility of our exports to our global trading partners,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.
The Covid-19 brought a significant drop in export due to lockdowns and travel bans beginning March this year. The September data is the first ever growth recorded since March.
Lopez said the Philippines’ sustained growth is seen for the rest of the year as travel restrictions are gradually lifted and the economy continues to reopen.
The growth is mainly contributed by commodities including refined copper at 133.9%, other mineral products for 73.3%, and metal components at 32.9%.
China is the biggest export destination accounting for $1.22 billion, followed by the United States at $903 million, Hong Kong at $809 million, and Singapore at $347 million.
Consistently the top Philippine exports, semiconductors still get the biggest share of the total electronics exports at 76.8% and 44.0% of total exports. However, its total exports went down to $20.2 billion in Jan-Sept 2020. The same applies to the non-electronics’ export sales, which continued to decline in the first nine months by 16.8% from $23.6 billion last year.
Thailand gained the biggest increase in imports at 21.9% followed by China and Hong Kong combined at a 17.6% increase. Meanwhile, year-on-year exports to Japan were still on the optimistic side but at a slower pace of 0.7%, the least positive growth rate among the gainers.