News Analysis Trade

Philippine cargoes: it’s Asia and it’s electronics

Philippine exports came in at US$58.6 billion in 2015 – that’s equivalent to US$12.60 (PHP580.19) for each of the country’s 101 million people. Recording a 5.1% decrease from the previous year – though up 22.1% on 2011 levels – export earnings delivered 7.9% of Philippine GDP.

Asian countries took the lion’s share of the cargoes, accounting for 67.1% of total shipments, followed by North America, 16.8%; Europe, 12.8%, and Africa, 1.3%.

Electronics-products remained the sector’s best performer, accounting for 44.3% of total exports with receipts of US$26 billion. These were followed by machine, engine, pumps – 14% with a value of US$8.2 billion; timber, 5% worth US$2.4 billion; medical, technical equipment, 4.1% at US$2.4 billion; ores, slag, ash. 2.8% at US$1.6 billion; ships, boats, 2.6% at US$1.5 billion; vehicles, 2.4% with US$1.4 billion; animal/vegetable fats & oils, 2% with US$1.2 billion; knitwear, 1.5% at US$872.4 million; copper, 1.5% at US$860 million. These top 10 exports accounted for 80.20% of all shipments last year.

In the product categories, medical and technical equipment posted the biggest growth, up 276.50% since 2011, followed by Philippine-built ships and boats, cargo vessels the lead component – see: Subic Bay – Taiwanese firms ready to ship in – and electronics products up 139.5% and 118.80% respectively, over the same period.

Drops in export volumes were experienced by copper which fell by 36.8% in line with the fall-off in demand worldwide, precipitated by China – the world’s biggest copper consumer – and its devaluation of the renminbi, creating negative effects on import costs. Vehicle export volumes also fell – in their case by 35.80%, as a consequence of the slowdown in sales worldwide.