This article published in Businessworld (September 11, 2015) refers to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) which showed that merchandise exports receipts fell from December 2014 to July 2015 with steepest decline in May 2015 but pulled back in July. In July alone, PSA attributed the decline to shrinking shipments of 8 out of 10 major commodities: machinery and transport equipment, apparel and clothing accessories, metal component, chemicals, coconut oil, ignition wiring sets in vehicles, aircraft and ships and other manufactures.

Lower value of outward shipments can be traced to reduced exports of total agro-based products and mineral products but this was moderated by sustained strong electronics and petroleum. Although agro-based exports account for only 5% of the Philippines’ total exports, its implication to domestic economy is significant as the agriculture sector hosts a sizable portion of the country’s work force.

Export growth is likely to struggle for the rest of the year. A source of hope is the electronics sector which makes up more than half of the country’s merchandise export receipts.

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