Merchandise exports grew by 25.3% in December and by 33.7% for full year 2010, breaching the 15% growth target approved by the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) for 2010, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
For 2010, the Philippines joined Indonesia as the two strongest performers in East and Southeast Asia in terms of export growth.
“The strong full year growth is consistent with expectations. Most analysts anticipated that industries will achieve a solid rebound in 2010 following the significant downturn in the global market in 2009,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano W. Paderanga Jr. Total merchandise exports rose to $51.4 billion from $38.4 billion in 2009. Exports plunged by 21.7% in 2009 relative to 2008.
Moreover, according to the International Monetary Fund, the stronger-than-expected consumption in advanced economies, as well as in emerging economies generated renewed demand for tradable goods.
For 2011, the DBCC-approved target for merchandise export growth is 13%. The growth in semiconductor sales for the year is projected to be slower due to the anticipated rise in stockpiles and the softening of demand for electronic products.
“In light of this, government initiatives shall be directed at finding ways to diversify the exports base by giving priority to commodities with high growth potential and value-added. It is also necessary to encourage intra-regional trade should economic recovery of our major trading partners remains moderate,” said Paderanga, who is also NEDA Director-General.
Shipments for all major commodities increased significantly except for forest products. Manufactured products grew by 20.7 percent in December 2010 and posted a 35.1% increase for the full year. The growth for December was supported by electronic products (19.4%) and chemicals (98.1%).
Exports of semiconductors rose by 24.1% as the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reported that worldwide sales for 2010 reached a record of $298.3 billion, a 31.8% year-on-year growth. The SIA attributed the high sales to the wider application of semiconductor technology in many electronic products.
Japan remained as the top destination of Philippine exports with a 15.4% share in December. Goods delivered to the country reached a value of $642.7 million, a 26.4% increase year-on-year. Other major markets are China (14.3%), the United States (13.5%), Singapore (10.8%) and Hong Kong SAR (9.6%).