PH exports fall by 7.5% in November 2016

MANILA, Philippines – Philippines exports fell by 7.5% in November 2016 due to the slump in demand for 7 out of 10 major commodities, a report from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.

The PSA said the slump in exports in November last year was due to decrease in demand for the following:

Shipments to Japan and the United States slid by 21.8% and 13.5%, respectively. But exports to Hong Kong and China increased by 4.7% and 5.2%, respectively. (READ: PH exports fall for 15th straight month in June)

Data from PSA

"In terms of supply for exports, that will not be a constraint. The constraint would be demand for exports. The US economy is on an uptrend and China slowed down. Europe is just picking up slowly. I think exports will be better this year," Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said on the sidelines of a forum in Makati City on Tuesday, January 10. 

2017: Better year for exports

Pernia said he expects a better year for exports in 2017. (READ: NEDA: Higher inflation in 2017 likely to hurt consumer spending)

"It is still going to be negative, but smaller negative. And then we hope to recover this year. Well, it is going to pick up and hopefully go beyond zero to positive," he said.

"Exports – especially in terms of agriculture, goods, and fruits – will be more welcomed in China and Russia. Crafts from Cebu will be welcomed in Russia," he added.

Pernia said he expects a "narrower" trade deficit in 2017.

"But then we might have a lot of imports, too. Especially when it comes to construction. It's going to be in effect this year," he added.

The country registered a wider trade deficit of $2.57 billion in November last year, from the $977 million in the same month a year ago.

The PSA said imports and manufacturing are doing well, posting an increase of 19.7% and 14.6%, respectively, on the back of a surge in some major import shipments like iron and steel.

"[T]he increase [in imports] was due to the positive growth rates of 9 out of the top 10 major imported commodities for the month led by iron and steel (100%)," PSA said in a separate statement. –