Semicon, car electronics mitigate PH exports decline in April

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Strong performances of semiconductors and automotive electronics partially moderated the decline in exports in April 2013, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

Merchandise exports contracted by 12.8 percent in April 2013 to $4 billion in total receipts from $4.6 billion a year ago.

?Recovery of semiconductors (10.6 percent) and automotive electronics (2,323.1 percent), following three consecutive months of contraction since January 2013, tempered the overall decline in exports,? said Neda officer-in-charge (OIC) and deputy director-general Emmanuel F. Esguerra.

Interestingly, total electronics exports fell to $1.63 billion in April 2013 from $1.64 billion a year ago. This was due to lower receipts from electronic data processing (-55.9 percent), telecommunication, among others.

Higher value of mineral (33.9 percent) and forest products (61.4 percent) combined with increases in outward shipments of wood manufactures (107.2 percent), processed food and beverages (48.0 percent), bananas (36.1 percent), iron and steel (76.7 percent) and copra meal/cake (146.9 percent) also softened the contraction.

On the other hand, the drop in total agro-based products (5.1 percent) and petroleum (27.1 percent), which drove the exports growth the previous month, pulled down merchandise exports in April 2013.

For the first four months of 2013, merchandise exports amounted to $16.1 billion, down by 7.9 percent from $17.5 billion in the same period last year.

?Slower global economic activities in the second quarter following weak international business and consumer sentiment caused the drop in April exports,? said Esguerra.

Japan remained to be the country?s top export market in April, accounting for 23.3 percent of the total export receipts. USA was the second largest export destination with a 15-percent share, followed by the People?s Republic of China (11.3 percent), Singapore (7.5 percent), and the Republic of Korea (7 percent).

Esguerra, who is deputy director-general for planning and policy, is OIC of Neda from June 10 to 16, 2013, while Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and Neda director-general Arsenio M. Balisacan is on official business abroad.

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