PH exports reached USD19.4 billion in the first quarter of 2022, the highest in 6 years

The PSA reports that exports hit a six-year high of USD19.4 billion in the first quarter of 2022, up 9.8% from the same period last year. Photo: DTI

According to preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Philippine exports hit a six-year high of USD19.4 billion in the first quarter of 2022, up 9.8 percent from last year's same period.

From 2017 to 2020, first-quarter exports averaged around USD16 billion. This record was broken in 2021 when the country's first-quarter exports increased by 8.4 percent and surpassed USD17 billion. In March 2022, the country's monthly exports reached USD7.2B, a 5.9 percent increase over the March 2021 value.

This demonstrates that the Philippines has maintained export growth in a much better position than before the pandemic and has been able to catch up as global trade expands.

Secretary of Trade and Industry Ramon M. Lopez anticipates that "the Philippine economy will continue to rebound and grow in the coming months. Of course, this will depend on how badly the world economies will be affected by the prolonged war in Ukraine." 

He went on to say that the Philippine export recovery rate in terms of key export products and markets gives him more hope for a stronger Philippine economy. 

21 of 48 Philippine export commodity groups are driving the country's export resurgence, with consistent increases in export sales compared to three time periods: 2021, 2020, and the pre-pandemic average from 2017 to 2019. Exports of electronics, other mineral products, copper cathodes and sections of cathodes, coconut oil, and processed food and beverages fueled this expansion.

Ten other export commodity groups saw an increase in export sales this quarter as well. However, export performance has been inconsistent compared to pre-pandemic and 2020 export levels. This includes fresh bananas, pineapples, pineapple products, mangoes, clothing, and accessories.

In March, agro-based exports increased by 32.6 percent over the same period last year, owing primarily to increased export sales of coconut products (63.3 percent) and other fruits and vegetables such as bananas and mangoes (14.1 percent ).

The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) of the country, which measures manufacturing output, increased to 53.2 in March from 52.8 in February, according to S&P Global. The manufacturing sector continues to benefit from increased demand brought about by the reopening of the economy and the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions. Output and new orders are both increasing, with the former growing at the joint-fastest rate since July 2019.

In terms of markets, while China was the Philippines' top export destination in March, the United States will be the country's top export market in the first quarter of 2022. Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore round out the country's top five markets for the quarter. Philippine exports to Singapore surpassed the USD1 billion mark, reaching USD1.2 billion.

Philippine exports increased in nearly all of its top ten markets, except for Germany, where exports fell this month and for the year's first quarter compared to the same period last year.

Furthermore, double-digit year-on-year and year-to-date export growth rates were observed in the following top Philippine export markets:  Switzerland, Malaysia, Mexico, France, Canada, and Australia.

For export inquiries, please contact the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) at exports@dti.gov.ph or visit tradelinephilippines.dti.gov.ph. —Tacloban News Update (Source: DTI)
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