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Philippine exports exceed pre-pandemic level in Jan.-Feb.

The Philippines' total export sales in the first two months of 2022 exceeded pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed Friday.

PSA data showed the country’s exports amounted to around $12.2 billion in January to February, exceeding the 2019 pre-pandemic level of $10.5 billion and the January to February 2021 level of $10.9 billion.

In February alone, exports grew by 15% to $6.16 billion from $5.35 billion year-on-year, the PSA said.

Electronics remained to be the top export product of the country, accounting for 55.9% of total exports in February 2022 with a revenue of $3.44 billion.
Top Philippine electronics exports were components/devices such as semiconductors, electronic data processing devices, telecommunication equipment, consumer electronics, and control & instrumentation.

Other manufactured goods followed with an export value of $391.98 million or 6.4% of total; and ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships which amounted to $204.82 million or accounting for 3.3% of the total exports.

“Our earlier efforts to ensure 100% operating capacity for the export sector enabled the sector to meet the growth in global demand. Momentum picked up as well as we continued to develop more export champions,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a statement.

Coconut oil remains to be the country’s top agricultural export.

Exports of coconut oil more than doubled in February amounting to $195.7 million from last year’s export of $89.7 million.

The global coconut oil market is estimated to grow by 5.5% in 2022, to reach U$5.7 billion in value. 

The US remains the Philippines’ biggest export market, accounting for 15.7% or $966.7 million of the total exports in February. This was followed by Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Singapore. In total, these countries account for almost 62.8% of the Philippines’ total exports. 

Trade balance

Meanwhile, the country’s balance of trade in goods yielded a narrower deficit of $3.53 billion from $4.71 billion in January as the value of imports continued to surpass exports.

In particular, imports amounted to $9.7 billion, up 20.1% year-on-year, but lower than the $10.7 billion posted in January.

The annual increment of imported goods in February 2022 was due to the increase in six of the top 10 major commodity groups, which was led by mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials with 131.6% annual increase.

This was followed by cereals and cereal preparations which rose by 83.8% annually; and other food and live animals, 23.3%.

China was the country’s biggest supplier of imported goods valued at $1.77 billion or 18.3% of the total imports in February.

Completing the top five major import trading partners with their corresponding import values and percent shares to the total imports were the following:

  • Republic of Korea, $1.05 billion (10.8%)
  • Japan, $908.06 million (9.4%)
  • Indonesia, $705.26 million (7.3%)
  • US, $610.97 million (6.3%)

Total external trade totaled $15.8 billion, up 18.1% from $13.42 billion year-on-year.

Of the total external trade in February, 61.1% were imported goods while the rest were exported goods. —KBK, GMA News