MANILA (Mabuhay) – Despite better receipts in electronics, Philippine merchandise exports declined for the second straight month in January due to lower shipments of other manufactures, furniture, chemical, metal components and coconut oil.
Export payments decreased by 0.5 percent to $4.357 billion from $4.379 billion a year earlier, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Tuesday.
The January figures also compare with a revised 3.2 percent contraction in December 2014.
This could be an indication of a slowing global environment, Security Bank Corp. economist Patrick Ella told GMA News Online.
“It’s expected, since we’re seeing a slowdown in major economies,” he said.
The PSA said the negative performance in January was brought about by a decrease in five major commodities out of the top ten for the month.
“These were: other manufactures; woodcrafts and furniture; chemicals; metal components and coconut oil,” it said.
Other manufactures, the third top export earner, decreased by 45.5 percent to $286.64 million from $525.55 million. Other manufactures usually included metals and non-metallic minerals and paper.
The fourth top export earner was woodcrafts and furniture, which declined by 43.4 percent to $166.40 million from $294.09 million.
Export receipts from chemicals were down by 21.8 percent to $134.12 million. Metal components earned $103.15 million, a 21.6 percent drop, while coconut oil fell 3.3 percent to $79.41 million.
Despite a slow start, Ella sees exports growing this year.
“But we still expect modest export receipts for the year on the back of electronics shipments, which account for almost half of the total,” he noted.
Electronic products, the country’s top export commodity group accounting for 46.8 percent of the total, rose by 14.6 percent to $2.04 billion from $1.780 billion.
According to the PSA, Japan is still the top buyer of Philippine exports at $882.61 million or 20.3 percent of total shipments for January.
The United States was second, followed by China, Hong Kong and Singapore.(MNS)