Merchandise export receipts in April increased 12.1 percent year on year to $4.8 billion from $4.28 billion, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.
The data showed double-digit expansion of exports in April was brought by robust growth in nine of the country’s top 10 exports, led by outbound shipments of gold surging by 2,740 percent valued at $122.81 million.
It was however noted that Philippine exports to Asian and European partners have expanded significantly.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) expressed optimism on the country’s trade performance for the rest of the year considering thriving exports and trade linkages, especially to Europe and East Asia.
Total trade grew to $11.7 billion in April 2017, with the 12.1 percent growth in exports offsetting the 0.1 percent decline in imports, PSA data showed.
“For exports, East Asia and the EU remain the top destinations of our products, accounting for 62.3 percent of total export receipts,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.
Exports to EU and East Asia grew by 36 percent and 10 percent in April 2017, respectively.
“Despite global uncertainties, we remain upbeat that the country will sustain the strong performance of export and trade growth recorded in the first quarter,” Pernia said.
Meanwhile, sales of exports to Hong Kong (36.8 percent), China (26.4 percent), South Korea (18.9 percent), and Taiwan (26.4 percent) posted double-digit growth while exports to Japan fell (-16.6 percent).
“We aim to deepen our engagement with our neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region to enhance trade and investment links,” said Pernia.
He recognized positive contributions of trade connections and cited China as an example, where merchandise exports increased by 27.7 percent from October 2016 to April 2017 compared with the 7.1 percent decline from January to September 2016.
“Also worth noting is the tripling of exports to the UAE and India in April. This was the third month that receipts to UAE tripled, and the second month for India,” he added.
Exports to UAE and India grew by 286.4 percent and 204.1 percent, respectively.
“We see an opportunity to strengthen bilateral ties with India as it becomes a major player in the global economy. Their large consumer base can be an important market for Philippine products,” he added.
Out of the top 10 export commodities, only ignition wiring set and other wiring sets for vehicles, aircraft and ships registered a decrement of 3.7 percent in April.
Electronics remained to be the country’s top export product in April, accounting for 51 percent of the total exports revenue.
Outbound shipments of electronic goods went up 6.8 percent to $2.44 billion from $2.29 billion in April 2016.
The PSA data further showed that Japan and the US were still the country’s top export destinations.