Exports post first growth since Feb.

Published November 5, 2020, 5:30 AM

by Chino S. Leyco

The country’s exports increased in September this year, the first monthly growth in seven months, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.

As the country’s economy gradually reopened, sales from export during month returned to growth for the first time since February, a month before the government imposed the Luzon-wide community quarantine.
Total export receipts reached $6.22 billion in September, up from $6.08 billion in the same month last year. 

Seven of the country’s top 10 major exports posted an increase during the month, led by cathodes and sections of cathodes, of refined copper (133.9 percent), other mineral products (73.3 percent); and metal components (32.9 percent). 

People’s Republic of China and Japan were the top buyers of Philippine products, with 19.6 percent and 15.7 percent, respectively. They were followed by the United State with 14.5 percent, Hong Kong with 13 percent and Singapore with 5.6 percent.

But despite the growth, export earnings at end-September amounted to $45.87 billion, lower by 13.8 percent compared with the same period last year.

Imports, on the other hand, contracted for the 17th straight month in September after posting an annual decline of 16.5 percent from $9.49 billion a year ago to $7.92 billion.  

Eight out of the top 10 major imports decreased during the month. The fastest were seen in transport equipment (53 percent); mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (51.4 percent); and industrial machinery and equipment (23.3 percent).

The People’s Republic of China was also the country’s biggest supplier of imported goods with 25.3 percent share of the total imports in September, followed by Japan with 9.1 percent, South Korea with 8.1 percent, United States with 7.6 percent, and Indonesia with 7.1 percent.

The country’s total external trade in goods in September, meanwhile, declined by 9.2 percent to $14.14 billion, while the balance of trade in goods, which measures the difference between the value of export and import, posted a trade deficit of 49.9 percent.