MANILA – Merchandise exports expanded by 24.4 percent in February 2014, owing to growth across all major commodity groups and the significant recovery in manufactured products, according to the National Economic and Development Authority.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported today that the value of merchandise exports grew to US$4.7 billion in February 2014 from US$3.7 billion in the same period last year.

“Compared to the manufacture-driven growth in January 2014, the export performance in February 2014 was more broad-based as all major commodity groups registered gains,” said NEDA Office-In-Charge (OIC) and Deputy Director-General Emmanuel F. Esguerra.

Export earnings from manufactured goods posted a year-on-year growth of 22.4 percent, up to US$3.9 billion this month from US$3.2 billion in February 2013. This is due to significant revenues from electronic products wood manufactures, chemicals, electronic equipment and parts, processed food beverages, furniture and fixtures, non-metallic mineral manufactures, travel goods and handbags, baby carriage and toys, iron and steel, textile yarns and fabrics, and footwear.

“Manufactures continue to be a significant driver of export growth in February, supported by higher overseas sales of minerals, total agro-based products, petroleum, and forest products,” the NEDA official added.

Mineral products registered export earnings amounting to US$237.3 million in February 2014, up by 139.9 percent from US$98.9 million last year due to higher revenues from copper concentrates, gold and chromium ore.

On a higher note, the two-month contraction of agro-based exports since December 2013 loosened as export earnings rose to US$408.0 million from US$343.9 million in February 2013, posting a year-on-year growth of 18.7 percent.

“This strong recovery is largely due to the robust exportation of fish products and higher prices of coconut products in the export market,” said Esguerra.

The total receipts from petroleum products also expanded from US$28.5 million in February 2013 to US$31.8 million despite the 5.7 year-on-year decline in export volume.

“The higher outward sales may be attributed to the elevated price of petroleum in the international market,” he said.

Meanwhile, annual export gains from forest products advanced to 13.6 percent due to higher revenues from lumber and veneer sheets/corestocks.

“Most of the selected economies in the East and Southeast Asian region posted positive export growth rates in February 2014, led by Vietnam and the Philippines,” Esguerra said.

Japan remains as the top destination of Philippine exports in February 2014, with a total value of US$1.2 billion, accounting for 25.4 percent of our country’s total revenues from merchandise exports.

The People’s Republic of China follows with a 14.7 percent share after the country’s outward shipments of electronic data processing (EDP) machines, semiconductors and chemicals grew by a hefty 79.3 percent in February.

Other top markets for Philippine exports were USA (13.4%), Hong Kong (7.0%), Singapore (6.7%), and South Korea (4.5%).

DDG Esguerra is the OIC of the NEDA Secretariat while Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan is on official business abroad from April 10 to 18, 2014.