Philippine exports recover in September

Philippine exports rose at their fastest pace in almost two years in September as the troubled electronics sector recovered and shipments to Japan soared, the government said Tuesday.

September exports rose 22.8 percent from a year earlier to $4.784 billion, the National Statistics Office said in a statement.

This marked the biggest rebound since December 2010, when exports rose 26.5 percent, records showed.

"Improved overall demand for the country's manufactured exports was mainly due to the generally favourable developments in global industrial production," the Philippine economic planning department said in a statement.

Economist Luz Lorenzo of ATR-Kim Eng Securities said exports to Japan, the top market for the month, rose 115 percent to $1.473 billion due to increased demand as the country recovered from a 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

This helped bring double- or even triple-digit growth in Philippine exports of tuna, metal components, bananas, woodcraft and furniture, she said.

"Those are things we export a lot of, to Japan," Lorenzo said.

The head of the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Sergio Ortiz-Luis, said the September figures were a sign that developed countries were starting to buy electronic products again.

However he expressed doubt that exports would hit the 10-percent growth target earlier set by the government for this year.

"It's kind of difficult now. We just have three months to go," Ortiz-Luis said.

Philippine exports had plunged 6.9 percent in 2011 amid a sharp drop in demand for its electronics products.

Total Philippine exports in the first nine months of 2012 year rose 7.2 percent year-on-year to $40.07 billion.

Electronics exports rose 1.1 percent in September. The sector accounted for 38.3 percent of all Philippine shipments for the month.

Electronics exports had plunged 14.9-percent fall in August when overseas demand slumped amid the slowdown in the economies of developed countries.

After Japan, the United States was the second largest export market, buying $602.89 million in September, the government said.

This was a 16.2-percent increase from the same period last year.

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