MANILA— Philippine merchandise exports grew by 15.7 percent in September 2014, once again topping trade-oriented economies in East and Southeast Asia since June, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

“The country’s export performance for the last two quarters of 2014 culminated remarkably despite slower growth in July (12.4%) and in August (10.5%). From a peak of 21.3 percent in June 2014, the latest merchandise export growth outturn signals the rebound of the exports sector, even surpassing most economies in the region during the period,” said Deputy Director-General and currently NEDA Officer in Charge Rolando G. Tungpalan.

The Philippines outperformed People’s Republic of China (15.3%), Vietnam (14.4%), Republic of Korea (6.9%), Taiwan (4.7%), Indonesia (3.9%), Thailand (3.2%), Malaysia (3.0%), and Hong Kong (1.0%). Meanwhile, Japan and Singapore posted negative growth at -1.2 percent and -1.6 percent, respectively.

Total revenues from exports rose to US$5.8 billion during the period from US$5.1 billion in September 2013, due to increased overseas sales of manufactures, petroleum, and forest products.

To date, total export revenues increased by 9.9 percent from US$42.4 billion in the same period last year to US$46.6 billion.

Revenues from manufactured products registered its highest year-on-year growth thus far in 2014 at 19.7 percent to reach US$5.0 billion from US$4.2 billion in September 2013.

“Supporting this growth are the strong gains from machinery and transport products, as well as the continued solid expansion of electronics exports especially in semiconductors and electronic data processing. Worth noting are the higher outward shipments of chemical products and the resurgence of coconut oil exports,” said Tungpalan.

Seen as an emerging important revenue earner, chemical products posted a 94.6 percent increase in export volume to Japan, PR China, India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong, which accounted for more than 90 percent of the country’s total export volume of chemicals during the period.

“Exports of chemical products has increased market share from 3.0 percent share to total exports in 2010 to 5.0 percent in 2013. For the month of September 2014, chemical products contributed 7.2 percentage points to exports growth alone,” said Tungpalan.

“These developments largely reflect the upbeat condition of global manufacturing activity,” he added.

Meanwhile, outward shipments for petroleum products was higher by 53.2 percent to US$83.8 million in September 2014 from $54.7 million in the same month in 2013.

Similarly, higher external demand for logs and lumber increased revenues from forest products at 21.4 percent, amounting to US$8.22 million in September 2014 from S$6.77 million in the same period last year.

Tungpalan noted that despite the slower pace of recovery in the global economy, the September 2014 merchandise exports performance hints of a positive mood across some markets, at least for the country’s top trading partners such as China, Singapore, Germany, South Korea, Thailand, and the Netherlands.

“Overall, total exports is expected to continue to post positive gains during the remaining months of the year owing to the holiday season. The Japanese and the US markets will likely boost Philippine exports for the remaining months given the recent optimism building up in the Japanese manufacturing sector and the broad-based expansion in industrial production in the US,” he said.

Japan remains as the country’s top export market accounting for 29.6 percent of our total revenue from merchandise exports during the period. The USA came second with a 13.6 percent share, followed by PR China with 10.5 percent.

In terms of regional destination, outward shipments to East Asia (PR China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Macau, Mongolia, and North Korea) comprised 56.3 percent of the country’s total exports. This is followed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member-countries with 13.9 percent share, and the European Union (EU) with 10.4 percent.

DDG Tungpalan is the OIC of the NEDA Secretariat while Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan is on official business abroad.