Locals optimistic on PH export recovery

Jeandie O. Galolo

A LOCAL export official has marked optimism on the continued recovery of exports toward the end of the year.

Based on the latest preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), total export receipts amounted to $5.51 billion in August, an increase of 9.3 percent from $5.04 billion in the same period in 2016.

Meanwhile, total imports payments escalated by 10.5 percent to $7.92 billion, from $7.17 billion in the same month a year ago. Despite a rise in both imports and exports, the country’s trade deficit hovered at $2.41 billion in August, from $2.13 billion a year ago.

“The nine-month positive gains in export value definitely signals a recovery in some sectors such as electronic equipment and parts, coconut oil, machinery and transport equipment and gold, which registered a huge 187 percent increase,” said Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport) Cebu executive director Fred Escalona in an e-mail yesterday.

“Just like the big exporting countries, the Philippines is experiencing such recovery mainly based on customer optimism,” he added.

Trading partners

Most of the country’s imports came from China, US, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia and Germany.

Overall, China was the Philippines’ top trading partner during the period, with trade worth $11.355 billion or 15 percent of the total trade.

The latest numbers, according to Escalona, show positive expectations for the rest of the year.

“Yes, it does look sustainable. Seasonally, September to November is always good. December, as you know, may plateau because of the holidays,” Escalona noted.