MANILA – Gains in manufactured goods, minerals, and forest products buoyed merchandise exports growth to expand by14.0 percent in October 2013 from 6.1 percent in the same period in 2012, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). 

“The continued positive expansion of exports since June 2013 has brought the cumulative year-on-year growth to positive territory for the first time this year,” said Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan. 

The October 2013 exports growth is the second double-digit expansion for the year, the last one recorded was 20.2 percent year-on-year in August 2013. 

From January to October 2013, exports increased by 1.3 percent to US$45.1 billion from US$44.5 billion in the same period in 2012. 

Manufactured goods, which have an 82.8-percent share of total exports, went up by 17.5 percent year-on-year (US$4.2 billion) in October 2013. 

This was supported largely by the sustained double-digit growth in electronics exports, which grew by 13.4 percent in October 2013, followed a 15.4-percent expansion in September 2013. 

Strong sales of electronic data processing (197.9%), automotive electronics (72.3%), consumer electronics (55.9%), office equipment (15.4%), and communication/radar (52.1%) backed this growth in October 2013. 

“Despite the projected decline in worldwide sales of personal computers (PC) for full-year 2013, bright prospects remain for the sector in the fourth quarter of the year, particularly for the business computers segment,” the Cabinet official said. 

“This sector will benefit from the firms’ investment expansion plans and from the need to replace computers running in old operating systems,” added Balisacan, who is also NEDA Director-General. 

Meanwhile, exports for minerals grew by 9.8 percent year-on-year to US$369.2 million in October 2013. This was due to higher revenues from copper concentrates (632.7%), gold (279.1%), and iron ore agglomerates (59.1%). 

Also, exports for forest products grew by 36.8 percent in October 2013 due to the increase of outward sales of lumber (59.5%) and veneer sheets/corestocks (199.6%). 

On the other hand, export revenues from both petroleum and total agro-based products declined by 43.8 percent and 8.8 percent, respectively. For petroleum, export volume decreased by 52.6 percent year-on-year while lower revenues from coconut products affected agro-based products. 

In terms of markets, Japan remains as the top destination of Philippine exports in October 2013. It accounted for 22.1 percent of total Philippine overseas merchandise sales receipts. Moreover, with a total value of US$1.1 billion, exports to Japan in October 2013 was higher by a hefty 51.6 percent compared to US$730.8 million in the same period last year. 

Next to Japan is the United States of America (USA) with a 14.2 percent share of the country’s total exports followed by PR China (12.8%), Singapore (8.5%) and Hong Kong (7.7%).