Coconut products top PH export sales in April

Merchandise exports from the PHILIPPINES rose 6% in April, with a value reaching $6.1 billion, according to preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Of the $348 million in incremental exports in April 2022, coconut products contributed $164 million, or 47% of incremental export sales for the month. This was mainly driven by coconut oil exports which increased their export level by 2.5 times compared to last year. Since February 2021, coconut oil exports have been increasing at double-digit growth rates.

For the first four months of the year, export sales increased by $2.1 billion compared to the same period last year. A quarter of these additional exports include sales of coconut products. Total exports grew 8.9% to $25.6 billion from $23.5 billion in 2021. Based on preliminary PSA data, April 2022 was estimated to be 14 .5% higher than the pre-pandemic average from 2017 to 2019.

On June 2, 2022, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Coconut Producers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP) through the issuance of Executive Order No. 172. The CFIDP aims to increase productivity and income of coconut producers, to reduce poverty and to modernize and rehabilitate the coconut industry to achieve social equity.

“The Philippines is recognized as one of the world leaders in the coconut industry. With the approval of the CFIDP, our local coconut industry, especially our farmers, can benefit from government support programs that will allow the sector to strengthen its competitiveness through the development and promotion of more innovative products based on coconuts,” said the Secretary of the Department of Commerce and Industry. Ramon Lopez said.

Furthermore, in addition to the support provided by the CFIDP, the coconut industry will also benefit from export marketing support under the Philippines-European Union Arise Plus project implemented by the International Trade Center and the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau. Under the project, coconut exporters will benefit from assistance with market research, capacity building programs focusing on trade negotiations, digital marketing and branding, and linkages trade through participation in trade fairs and business matchmaking activities.

Major improvements in trading conditions have been seen as the Philippine government continues to ease public health restrictions. In April, the country’s manufacturing sector recorded its best month in nearly four years based on the Philippines’ Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI), as production and new orders rose further. Additionally, according to S&P Global Philippines, the Philippines PMI jumped to 54.3 in April from 53.2 in March.

“The continued growth of our PMI is a testament to the effectiveness of the post-pandemic economic recovery efforts implemented by the Duterte administration. Several aspects have contributed to this development, but at the heart of it really is the solid growth in releases, resulting from our sustained export performance,” added Lopez.

Additionally, 32 of the Philippines’ 48 commodity groups continue to drive the recovery of the country’s export sector, recording consistent increases in export sales over three periods: 2021, 2020 and the pre-pandemic average. over the period 2017-2019.

Electronics remains the country’s top export, accounting for 59.8% year-to-date of total exports from January to April. Similarly, double-digit growth rates were recorded in Philippine electronics exports of components/devices (semiconductors), controls and instrumentation, and automotive electronics. Additionally, exports of telecommunications products more than tripled in April 2022, based on both year-on-year and year-to-date values.

The Philippines’ top market from January to April 2022 remains the United States, with exports valued at $3.95 billion, followed closely by China with exports valued at $3.85 billion. (with PR)

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