PH exports up again in October to $4.76b
Philippine merchandise exports rose 3.7 percent to $4.757 billion in October, the second straight month they recovered, on the back of higher demand for coconut oil and metal components, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Friday.
The rise in exports and the 5.9 percent growth in imports to $6.53 billion in October brought the total merchandise trade for the month to $11.7 billion, up 5 percent year-on-year.
“For the year’s first ten months, it is good to note that total trade remains steady at 4.7 percent (growth),” said Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.
The National Economic and Development Authority attributed the increased exports in October to the strong performance of mineral products (15.1 percent), such as copper concentrates and chromium ore, and agro-based items (30.6 percent), like coconut oil, bananas, rubber and fish.
The agency said higher receipts were recorded from China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, the United States, The Netherlands, Mexico and France.
Pernia said the Philippines could expect more exports to China after President Rodrigo Duterte clinched a deal for over $100 million worth of fruit shipments following the lifting of the Chinese ban on local bananas and mangoes.
Neda also cited a huge potential exports of high value crops to China, such as mango, coconut, and dragon fruit, as well fishery products, including Lapu-Lapu, crabs, shrimps, prawns and tuna.
“The country’s improving relationship with Russia will also spur growth in the exports sector, as Russia committed to import around $2.5 billion worth of Philippine fruits, grains, and vegetables in the next twelve months,” Pernia said.
He said he was confident about the recovery of the global economy in the light of the recent better jobs data in the US.
He said it was important for the Philippines to harness opportunities offered by the Asean bloc and its ties with China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.
“We must also maximize our bilateral ties with Japan and the European Free Trade Association, including Europe’s generalized scheme of preferences. And aside from taking advantage of existing foreign trade agreements, Filipino exporters should also remain proactive in driving up product differentiation, innovation, and diversification especially that there will be stronger integration in the Asean region soon,” he added.