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Philippine exports for the first quarter of 2017 grew by 18.34% after it reflected double-digit growth for March 2017 with 21% total increase amounting to $5.58 billion compared to $4.61 billion recorded value in the same period in 2016, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced.

In the recent report of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the increase for March 2017 exports data, an almost double of the 11% year-on-year growth figure posted in February this year, further lifted the cumulative value of merchandise exports covering the period January-March 2017.

“Increase for March 2017 exports marked the fourth consecutive positive growth in the value of Philippine merchandise exports since December 2016,” explained DTI Export Marketing Bureau Director Senen M. Perlada.

For March 2017, electronics remained to be the country’s top export with total receipts of $2.80 billion, accounting for 50.2% of the total exports revenue in March 2017. It increased by 19.0% from $2.36 billion registered in March 2016.

On the other hand, exports of manufactured goods were valued at $4.69 billion, accounting for 84.1% share of the total export receipts in March 2017, went up by 16.5% from $4.03 billion recorded in the same month last year.

United States (including Alaska and Hawaii), with export receipts valued at $809.93 million, topped other countries as the Philippine top export market for March 2017. It is followed by Hong Kong with revenue amounting to $798.25 million, and Japan as third market with $762.43 million export sales.

By economic bloc, East Asia registered to be the top destination of Philippine goods with 46.4% share to total exports, followed by European Union with 16.2% share to total merchandise exports. ASEAN ranked third with 14.9% share in overall Philippine exported goods.

Against other trade-oriented economies, the Philippines landed at third place among the top export performers for March 2017, a major leap after landing 9th place for February 2017. Malaysia topped the list with 24.1% export growth followed by Indonesia with 24% for March 2017.

PH outward shipments for Q1

Covering the first quarter of the year, exports of Philippine electronic products increased significantly by 15.27% while non-electronic goods also posted +21.48%. Positive performance of the five out of nine subsectors of the electronics industry drive growth which contributed 96.65% share in the cumulative total value of the industry. Semiconductors, which grew +16.3% in the first quarter of 2017, remained to be country’s top electronics exports.

Increase for non-electronic goods was driven by the triple-digit growths in Forest Products (+168.1%) and Coconut Products (+133.1%). The rest of the contributing commodities exhibited double-digit increases ranging from 18.7% to 89.4% except for Basketwork (+8.1%) and Travel Goods and Handbags (+7.6%).

Top markets for Q1

Except for Japan, cumulative value of export shipments to top market destinations of the country posted substantive growths in the first quarter of 2017. Combined markets of China and Hong Kong with a share of 23.6% which also grew by 35.94% topped the list of exports destinations. Second to the list with total 15.49% share was USA which rose by 13.66%; followed by Japan with 15.34% total share of exports which declined by 17.41%.

In terms of year-to-date export growth, shipments to the Netherlands, which has 4.12% share in total exports, reflected the highest growth with 55.98%.

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