March exports hit all-time high of $4.18 billion

Published by rudy Date posted on May 13, 2010

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s export earnings rose to a record high of 43.7 percent to $4.18 billion in March as the global recovery spurred demand for locally-made electronics goods.

This was the highest year-on-year export revenue growth posted since 1981.

Shipments of electronics, which dominate exports and are largely assembled from imported parts, climbed 49.1 percent to $2.42 billion in March from a year ago level after a 53.3 -percent jump in February.

Semiconductors which comprised 42 percent of total electronics shipment amounted to $1.749 billion, up 49 percent from a year ago level.

Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, accounting for 3.5 percent of total exports in March, emerged as the country’s second biggest export with shipments valued at $146.07 million. This commodity group exhibited an 8.5-percent growth from the year ago level of $134.63 million.

Cathodes and sections of cathodes followed   with earnings of $111.53 million in March, up sharply by 113 percent from last year’s $52 million.

Other major export products, including wiring sets, coconut oil and cathodes, also posted significantly higher growth in its exports receipts for March. Earnings from exports of cathodes rose by 113.6 percent, while the value of coconut oil shipments soared by 212.9 percent.

Rounding up the list of top 10 exports for March were woodcrafts and furniture, $94.33 million; metal components, $75.98 million; other manufactured products, $59.18 million; tuna, $32 million; and copper concentrates, $31 million.

The Philippines expects exports to grow 12 percent and imports to rise 18 percent in 2010. In 2009, exports fell 21.9 percent, not as sharp as the government’s forecast drop of 25 percent.

The main electronics industry group expects shipments to grow 20 percent or more this year on strong demand from China and India.

The government may consider raising its 2.6 percent-3.6 percent economic growth target for 2010 amid a slew of positive indicators this year.

The three biggest export markets in March were the US, Japan and China. Shipments to the US amounted to $703 million, up 39 percent from a year ago. Japan was the second biggest export market with purchases worth $682 million followed by China with $487 million.

Other top markets in March were Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, the Netherlands and South Korea. –Rica D. Delfinado (The Philippine Star)

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