PH electronic exports slump 14.9% in first 6 months of 2020

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Electronics exports of the Philippines went down by 14.9% in the first six months of the year to $16.1 billion from $18.9 billion in the same period in 2019, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

In terms of the difference in export value, only two sectors in the electronics industry posted positive growth rates: control and instrumentation; and automotive electronics.

The top five electronics exports in terms of value continued to contribute over 96% share in the total year-to-date (YTD) industry value and over 50% in the total Philippine exports value.

Semiconductors — consistently the top Philippine merchandise and electronics exports — still got the lion share of electronics exports at 77.8%, and 42.7% of total Philippine merchandise exports. However, its total exports went down by 10% to $12.6 billion in January to June 2020 from $13.9 billion in the same period in 2019.

Non-electronics’ export sales declined by 21.3% to $12.3 billion year-to-date from $15.7 billion in the same period last year. The top performers in the current review period in terms of the difference in value were: petroleum products, $73.5 million; and textile yarns/fabrics (including surgical masks), $47.2 million.

Exports to the top 10 Philippine markets registered a negative 11.4% year-on-year (YOY) growth this month compared to the same period in 2019. This was an improvement from the 32.9% decline posted in the previous month, indicating that some of these markets have taken in more imports from the Philippines compared to the first five months.

In terms of percent share, almost 60% of the total exports in the top 10 Philippine markets went to the perennial three economies only, namely, combined markets of China and Hong Kong (28.8%), Japan (16.1%), and US (14.1%). 

The trade department said the effect of the pandemic in the economy could persist for much longer as only five countries have recorded positive growth among 11 trade-oriented Asian economies, and the rest of the countries suffered declines in terms of YOY export performance.

According to preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), June 2020 exports decreased by 13.3% to $5.3 billion from $6.1 billion in the same month last year. This is an improvement from the 35.6% decline recorded in May 2020.

“Several countries have revised their global outlook and the Philippines has followed suit with Development  Budget Coordination Committee’s (DBCC) lowering its forecasts for the year. A sustained deceleration would most likely lead to a single-digit annual contraction,” said DTI undersecretary for trade promotions Abdulgani Macatoman.

“We are working to resume trade with many country partners to improve exports for the rest of the year. Thus, we again call for both national and local governments to ensure the unhampered flow of goods, especially now that NCR and nearby provinces are under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ),” added Macatoman.

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