Electronics tow PH exports as volume surpasses pre-pandemic levels

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With the gradual recovery in global trade and the unimpeded export manufacturing activities even under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), Philippine exports grew by 12.7% in July 2021 bringing cumulative export growth to 19.5% in the first seven months of the year.

The recorded year-on-year (YOY) exports this year reached $6.42 billion, which is higher than the pre-pandemic value of $6.25 billion in 2019. As for the year-to-date (YTD) values, exports in 2021 amounted to $42.39 billion, which is also higher than the recorded $40.82B in 2019.

Exports were primarily driven by increased global uptake of semiconductors, electronic data processing products, consumer electronics and telecommunication products.

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reported that global semiconductor sales grew by 29.0% in July reaching $45.4 billion. In the country, electronics contributed the highest amount accounting for 61.9% YOY, equivalent to $4.0 billion.

“Our sustained export growth rate can be attributed to the recovery in the global markets, coupled with our efforts in ensuring that the exports manufacturing sector operate at 100% capacity even during the ECQ,” said Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) secretary Ramon Lopez said.

Meanwhile, the strong demand for copper cathodes and sections of cathodes, and ignition wiring sets and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships resulted to Philippine exports of these products growing by 84.6% and 28.6%, respectively.

China, the world’s largest copper importer, imported over 555,000 metric tons of copper in July, up 14.24% from the previous month and 89.93% from a year ago. 

The Philippines also benefited from the increase in the US’ production of motor vehicles and parts with US companies cancelling their usual factory shutdowns in July.

While the US remains to be the country’s top export market, PH export performance was largely influenced by the robust growth in Asia. Asian economies have exhibited impressive export performance reflecting a strengthened optimism in economic recovery.

PH exports to China grew by 30.7% in January to July compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, exports to Hongkong, Singapore, and Japan in July grew by 13.4%, 9.8%, and 3.4%, respectively.

“The Philippines is clearly benefitting from its integration in Asia’s supply chains and the strong economic rebound in the region,” Lopez said. 

“With our market access reach, resilient supply chains, geographic location, and enhanced investment incentives, the Philippines is an ideal investment destination for manufacturing firms who wish to take advantage of Asia’s growth,” the trade chief added.

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