The Philippines’ total merchandise trade nosedived in July as exports continued their continued deterioration amidst a slow-moving global economy, according to the country’s National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) stated on Friday, September 9, that the total revenue from trade nosedived year-on-year from $12.2 billion in July of 2015 as compared to $11.4 billion of July 2016 as exports plummeted by 13 percent while the imports also declined by 1.7 percent.
“We must continue to upgrade and improve our industries to ensure their competitiveness and resiliency to shocks,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a press statement.
Philippine exports posted its 16th consecutive month of declines, dropping to $4.7 billion in July from $5.4 billion of last year, which NEDA blamed the lethargic demand from traditional markets Japan, China, Hong Kong, and United States.
Secretary Pernia said that the growth was observed in non-traditional markets such as France and Mexico, which grew by around 59.2-percent and 22.4-percent, respectively. NEDA also added in a statement the strong sales of coconut products, most certainly the coconut oil and desiccated coconut, which helped agriculture-based products grow by about 0.6-percent in July of this year.
The export of manufactured goods, meanwhile, has declined by about 13-percent to $4 billion in the same month. However, the outlook for the consumer electronics industry, specifically for semiconductors, is quite improving. “We must take advantage of this and beef up the capacity of the electronics industry for production, research and development, and design to enable us to keep up with the imminent increase in demand,” Pernia added.
NEDA said that the export plummet was also observed in almost all Asian markets. With Indonesia (-12.0%) and Malaysia (-10.2%) joining the Philippines the double-digit decline growth rates for July.
The imports were also affected after posting big increases in the first half of the year, dropping to $6.7 billion in July from $6.8 billion of last year. NEDA claimed that the negative growth was attributed to a decrease in local demand for raw materials and intermediate goods, as well as mineral fuel and lubricants.
Meanwhile, the imports of capital goods skyrocketed by 23.1-percent to $2.3 billion while the consumer goods were up by 8.3-percent to $1.1 billion.