Philippines Top 10 Exports

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Located in the western Pacific Ocean, the Southeast Asian nation called the Republic of Philippines shipped US$67.5 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a -1.8% dip since 2014 but a 9.2% increase from 2017 to 2018.

From a continental perspective, two-thirds (66.7%) of Filipino exports by value were delivered to fellow Asian countries while 17.4% was sold to North American importers. The Philippines shipped another 13.8% worth of goods to clients in Europe. Smaller percentages went to Oceania (1%) led by Australia, Latin America (0.7%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Africa (0.4%).

Given the Philippines’ population of 105.9 million people, its total $67.5 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $650 for every resident in the densely populated Southeast Asian island.

In macroeconomic terms, the Philippines’ total exported goods represent 7.1% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2018 ($952.6 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 7.1% for exports to overall GDP per PPP in 2018 compares to 9.7% for 2014, seeming to indicate a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Philippines’ total economic performance. And while this article focuses on exported goods, it is interesting to note that the Philippines also provided $37.5 billion worth of exports-related services to global customers for an additional 3.9% of GDP in PPP.

Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. The unemployment rate for the Philippines was 5.1% at June 2019, down from 5.3% in January 2018 per Trading Economics.

Philippines Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Filipino global shipments during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from the Philippines.

  1. Electrical machinery, equipment: US$32.9 billion (48.7% of total exports)
  2. Machinery including computers: $9.6 billion (14.3%)
  3. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $2.2 billion (3.3%)
  4. Fruits, nuts: $2.1 billion (3.1%)
  5. Gems, precious metals: $1.5 billion (2.2%)
  6. Copper: $1.4 billion (2.1%)
  7. Ores, slag, ash: $1.2 billion (1.8%)
  8. Ships, boats: $1.2 billion (1.8%)
  9. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $1.2 billion (1.7%)
  10. Mineral fuels including oil: $1.1 billion (1.7%)

Philippines top 10 exports accounted for about four-fifths (80.7%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Fruits and nuts was the fastest-growing among the Philippines’ top 10 export categories, up 16% from 2017 to 2018.

In second place for improving export sales were Filipino shipments of mineral fuels-related goods which appreciated 10.4% propelled by better international cashflow from refined petroleum oils.

Gems and precious metals posted the third-fastest gain up 7%, due mainly to superior silver sales.

Copper was the leading decliner among export categories for the Philippines due to its -31.7% year-over-year drop.

Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. For a more granular view of exported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of Philippines’ Most Valuable Export Products further down near the bottom of this article.

Advantages

The following types of Filipino product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Electrical machinery, equipment: US$4.5 billion (Down by -52.4% since 2017)
  2. Fruits, nuts: $1.7 billion (Up by 16.7%)
  3. Gems, precious metals: $1.2 billion (Down by -0.1%)
  4. Ships, boats: $984.6 million (Down by -34.1%)
  5. Copper: $578.2 million (Down by -56.6%)
  6. Leather/animal gut articles: $423.3 million (Up by 14%)
  7. Meat/seafood preparations: $401.4 million (Down by -16.3%)
  8. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $325.9 million (Down by -23.4%)
  9. Nickel: $322.1 million (Down by -24.5%)
  10. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $230.3 million (Down by -56%)

The Philippines has highly positive net exports in the international trade of electronic equipment including consumer electronics. In turn, these cashflows indicate the Philippines’ strong competitive advantages under the electronic equipment category.

Opportunities

Overall the Philippines incurred a -$47.6 billion trade deficit in 2018, up 43.6% from -$33.2 billion in red ink one year earlier.

Below are exports from the Philippines that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country the Philippines’ goods trail Filipino importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: -US$12.7 billion (Up by 22.5% since 2017)
  2. Vehicles: -$7.5 billion (Down by -0.9%)
  3. Iron, steel: -$5.1 billion (Up by 33%)
  4. Machinery including computers: -$3.1 billion (Down by -28.2%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: -$2.9 billion (Up by 13.8%)
  6. Cereals: -$2.7 billion (Up by 50.4%)
  7. Aircraft, spacecraft: -$2.3 billion (Up by 77.6%)
  8. Pharmaceuticals: -$1.6 billion (Down by -2.2%)
  9. Food industry waste, animal fodder: -$1.6 billion (Up by 16.1%)
  10. Articles of iron or steel: -$1.5 billion (Up by 23.6%)

The Philippines has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for mineral fuels-related products especially refined petroleum oils followed by crude oil, coal then petroleum gas.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate the Philippines’ competitive disadvantages in the international fossil fuel market, but also represent key opportunities for the Philippines to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations particularly in alternative energy sources.

Companies

Filipino Export Companies

Ten Filipino corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major export companies headquartered in the Philippines that Forbes included:

  • Aboitiz Equity Ventures (industrial conglomerates)
  • Alliance Global Group (industrial conglomerates)
  • Ayala (industrial conglomerates)
  • PLDT (telecommunications services)
  • San Miguel (industrial conglomerates)

According to global trade intelligence firm Zepol, the following companies are also examples of Filipino export companies:

  • Acbel Polytech Philippines (electric static converters, primary batteries)
  • Aruze G A Philippines Branch (machine tools, printers, copiers, operated games)
  • Calfurn Mfg Philippines (bamboo/wood furniture, kitchenware, tableware)
  • Pacific Paint Boysen Philippines (polymers, oils)
  • Yuenthai Philippines (shirts, blouses)



 

Searchable List of Philippines’ Most Valuable Export Products

At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, the Philippines’ top export products are electronic integrated circuits followed by electrical machinery then computers.

The following searchable table displays 200 of the most in-demand goods shipped from the Philippines during 2018. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2017.

RankPhilippines' Export Product2018 Value (US$)Change
1Integrated circuits/microassemblies$13.7 billion-1.9%
2Electrical machinery$6.6 billion-8.6%
3Computers, optical readers$4.4 billion-8.2%
4Solar power diodes/semi-conductors$3 billion+64.5%
5Electrical converters/power units$2.1 billion+32.4%
6Printing machinery$2 billion+25%
7Insulated wire/cable$1.9 billion-13.1%
8Bananas, plantains$1.5 billion+33.4%
9Computer parts, accessories$1.3 billion+28.7%
10Cruise/cargo ships, barges$1.2 billion-27.5%
11Refined copper, unwrought alloys$1.1 billion-10.2%
12Gold (unwrought)$1.1 billion-8%
13Coconut/palm/babassu oil$1.1 billion-30.4%
14Automobile parts/accessories$1 billion-4.9%
15Aircraft parts$946.1 million+42.1%
16Lower-voltage switches, fuses$899.3 million-2.9%
17Electrical capacitators$684.8 million-9.5%
18Copper ores, concentrates$617.1 million+66.2%
19Phone system devices including smartphones$615.9 million-18.1%
20Cases, handbags, wallets$582.4 million+19%
21TV receivers/monitors/projectors$581.9 million-2.8%
22Oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers$480.4 million+48.4%
23Nickel ores, concentrates$458.2 million-33.1%
24Processed petroleum oils$456.4 million+15.4%
25Printed circuits$426.9 million+32.1%
26Fish, caviar (preserved/prepared)$378.7 million-11.4%
27Nickel matte, oxide sinters$374.9 million-15.6%
28Miscellaneous preserved fruits$330.3 million-21.1%
29Wood carpentry, builders' joinery$313.3 million-72.8%
30Regulate/control instruments$287.5 million+11.8%
31Optical fiber cables, sheets, plates$286.7 million-3%
32Coconuts, Brazil nuts, cashews$284.9 million-17.4%
33Coal, solid fuels made from coal$281 million-16.7%
34Magnets including electro-magnets$270.8 million-17.2%
35Rubber tires (new)$267.7 million+51.4%
36Dates/figs/pineapples/mangoes/avocadoes/guavas$253.7 million-10.6%
37Cigars/cigarellos, cigarettes$241.1 million+79.6%
38Photographic cameras, apparatus$224.4 million-55.7%
39TV/radio/radar device parts$223.7 million+31.5%
40Air conditioners$215.8 million+11.2%
41Electro-medical equipment (e.g. xrays)$207.7 million-7.5%
42Electric motors, generators$207 million-24.6%
43Crude oil$202.7 million+3.5%
44Miscellaneous machinery$193.7 million+33.8%
45Lenses, prisms, mirrors$190.1 million-28.2%
46Air or vacuum pumps$185.8 million+217.7%
47Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$182 million+37%
48Plastic builders' items$179.7 million+120.7%
49Microphones/headphones/amps$177 million+112.5%
50Acyclic hydrocarbons$174.7 million-1.6%
51Miscellaneous furniture$173.5 million-6.9%
52Vegetable saps, extracts$166.8 million+3.2%
53Temperature-change machines$165.8 million+12.6%
54Locks, lock-keys$162.3 million+31.4%
55Radar, radio communication items$160.2 million-32.3%
56Electric storage batteries$159.7 million+2.9%
57Unmanufactured tobacco, tobacco waste$152.1 million+39.9%
58Acyclic alcohols$149.2 million-24.4%
59Other measuring/testing machines$149.2 million-30.5%
60Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers$149 million+217.3%
61Miscellaneous plastic items$143.3 million-4.1%
62Electric motor parts$142.1 million+59%
63Taps, valves, similar appliances$141.5 million-39%
64Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$141.1 million+74.4%
65Electrical lighting/signaling equpment, defrosters$141 million-13.6%
66Sawn wood$136.9 million+42.9%
67Carbon/natural mineral products$135.2 million+20%
68Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$131.6 million+9.5%
69Other organic cleaning preparations$131.2 million+19%
70Miscellaneous iron and steel structures$130.2 million+146.2%
71Women's clothing (knit or crochet)$122.9 million-30.7%
72Iron or steel scrap$122 million+45.8%
73Calculators, accounting/ticket machines, cash registers$120.5 million-2.6%
74Miscellaneous office machines$117.5 million+16.1%
75Fruit and vegetable juices$116.1 million-21.3%
76Plastic tableware, kitchenware, toiletry$115.2 million+257.8%
77Copper foil$113.1 million-61%
78Speed/distance meters$110.1 million+53.1%
79Gold-clad base metals or silver$108 million+69,585%
80Wrist/pocket watches (no precious metal case)$107.5 million+498.4%
81Whole fish (frozen)$105.3 million-18.5%
82Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation)$103.8 million+807.9%
83Crustaceans (including lobsters)$102.8 million-30.8%
84Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs$99.7 million+38.2%
85High-voltage switches, fuses$98.1 million+644.4%
86Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$97.8 million-8.4%
87Non-alcoholic drinks (not water/juice/milk)$95.4 million-17.3%
88Laminated wood (including plywood, veneer panels)$94.1 million+72.7%
89Bridge parts, structures$91.7 million-27.7%
90Women's blouses$90.2 million+74%
91Video recording equipment$88.3 million-20%
92Crustaceans, molluscs (preserved/prepared)$87.3 million+1.5%
93Petroleum gases$87.3 million-9.7%
94Vulcanized rubber items$83.8 million+18.6%
95Silver (unwrought)$83.3 million+22,789%
96Mattresses, quilts$76.9 million+0.6%
97Natural rubber$76 million-24.1%
98Filament/discharge lamps$76 million+17.8%
99Men's shirts (not knit or crochet)$74.1 million-53.3%
100Machinery for making semi-conductors$72.6 million+23.1%
101Iron ores, concentrates$71.8 million-8.2%
102Miscellaneous oil cakes$71.2 million+11.7%
103Fibrous cellulosic pulps$70.8 million-17.6%
104Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings$68.3 million+93.5%
105Copper waste, scrap$68.3 million+8.5%
106Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$67.5 million+106.4%
107Print/write/draw inks$67.5 million+283.2%
108Electrical resistors$67.4 million+123.4%
109Women's clothing (not knit or crochet)$66.9 million-44.2%
110Moluscs$66.4 million-17%
111Leather clothing, accessories$66.4 million+12.6%
112TV receiver/transmit/digital cameras$64.3 million+8.3%
113Men's shirts (knit or crochet)$63.8 million-18.1%
114Sauces, mixed condiments, seasonings$62 million-26.2%
115Primary polymers of ethylene$60.9 million-34%
116Live fish$60.9 million-24.8%
117Wigs, false beards, eyelashes$59.8 million+144.8%
118Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$59.6 million-15.8%
119Fixed vegetable fats/oils$59.4 million-15.7%
120Propylene/olefin polymers$58.9 million+2.4%
121Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches$58 million+68.4%
122Table games, bowling equipment$57.6 million+41.5%
123Ball, roller bearings$57.5 million+3.8%
124Sugar (cane or beet)$56.4 million-73.1%
125Women's underwear, pajamas (knit or crochet)$55.6 million+29.7%
126Base metal mountings, fittings$55.3 million-19.8%
127Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys$55.1 million+29.8%
128Telecommunication receivers$52.9 million+272.8%
129Other food preparations$52.5 million-7.4%
130Wood charcoal$51 million+118%
131Footwear (textile)$50.9 million+132.4%
132Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)$50.7 million-49.6%
133Miscellaneous printed matter$50.5 million+179.4%
134Precious metal waste, scrap$50.3 million+4.4%
135Flour/meal/starch/malt extract food preparations$49.3 million-37.7%
136Miscellaneous iron or steel items$48.4 million-2.2%
137Pneumatic hand tool$47.4 million+65.1%
138Cigarette paper$46.3 million+12.3%
139Miscellaneous ores, concentrates$46.2 million+219,957%
140Unrecorded sound media$45.5 million-32.7%
141Cast iron tubes, pipes$45.3 million-14.9%
142Personal toilet/shaving preparations, deodorants$43.7 million-24.1%
143Pipe/chewing/snuff tobaccos$43.4 million-20.8%
144Men's suits,trousers (knit or crochet)$40.8 million-18.1%
145Other machine parts, accessories$40.7 million+4.9%
146Vegetable textiles$40.5 million-6%
147Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools$40.5 million-2.5%
148Electric sound/visual signal bells or alarms$40 million-71.4%
149Narrow woven textile fabrics$39.6 million-7.5%
150Plastics waste, scrap$39.6 million+13%
151Motorcycle parts/accessories$39.5 million+3.5%
152Pasta, couscous$39.4 million+30.5%
153Sports equipment$39.4 million+6.7%
154Lighters including for cigarettes$39.3 million-39.6%
155Liquid/gas checking instruments$39.2 million+83.5%
156Concrete/artificial stone items$39.2 million+48.9%
157Women's shirts (not knit or crochet)$38.8 million+2.9%
158Miscellaneous parts, accessories$38.8 million-11.8%
159Machine-part brooms, brushes$38.2 million+46.8%
160Miscellaneous articles, dress patterns$36.8 million-38.9%
161Sulphides, polysulphides$36.5 million-80.1%
162Whole fish (fresh)$35.6 million+7.7%
163Electric ignition/start equipment$34.8 million-49.5%
164Miscellaneous engines, motors$34.7 million+35.2%
165Fish fillets, pieces$34.2 million-14.6%
166Basketwork, wickerwork$34.1 million-22.1%
167Iron or steel pipe fittings$33.7 million+13.5%
168Footwear (leather)$33.4 million-15%
169Other glass articles$33.4 million+82.6%
170Electric water heaters, hair dryers$33.2 million-48.1%
171Spectacle/goggle frames, mountings$32.9 million+6.3%
172Metal-removing lathes$32.6 million+106%
173Women's coats, jackets (knit or crochet)$32.1 million+4,681%
174Vacuum vessels including flasks, parts$31.6 million+39.2%
175Medication mixes in dosage$31 million-29.5%
176Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$30 million+235%
177Bras, corsets (not knit or crochet)$29.8 million+75%
178Machinery parts$29 million-23.1%
179Arms parts, accessories$29 million+1,159%
180Sugar confectionery (no cocoa)$28.9 million-24.2%
181Men's suits, trousers (not knit or crochet)$28.8 million+50.6%
182Vulcanized rubber plates, sheets, strips$28.3 million+288.8%
183Cyclic hydrocarbons$28.2 million-80.7%
184Copper wire$28.1 million-62.9%
185Animal/vegetable hydrogenated fats, oils$27.5 million-26.6%
186Miscellaneous aluminum items$27.3 million+72.6%
187Interchangeable hand/machine tools$27.1 million-67%
188Anti-knock/oxidation/gum inhibitors$26.9 million-2.1%
189Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles$25.9 million-32.5%
190Concentrated/sweetened milk, cream$25.9 million+66.2%
191Twine/cord/rope knotted netting$25.8 million-15.2%
192Paper containers, cellulose wadding$25.3 million-23.5%
193Plastic baths, wash basins$24.8 million+39.9%
194Cinematographic cameras, projectors$24.3 million-40.7%
195Jewelry$24 million+17.3%
196Pencils, crayons, leads, pastels $23.9 million+66.3%
197Fishing gear, decoy birds$23.8 million+28%
198Safety glass$23.8 million+1,524%
199Beauty/makeup/skin care preparations$23.6 million-37%
200Prepared explosives$23.4 million+19.5%

These 200 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$64.7 billion or 95.8% by value for all products exported from the Philippines during 2018.

See also Philippines Top 10 Imports, Philippines Top Trading Partners and Top Filipino Trade Balances

Research Sources:
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 26, 2019

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 27, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 26, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on June 27, 2019

Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on June 27, 2019

Wikipedia, List of Companies of the Philippines. Accessed on March 26, 2019

Wikipedia, Philippines. Accessed on March 26, 2019

Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on June 27, 2019

World’s Richest Countries, Targeted research > Enriching insights > Global opportunities (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 27, 2019

Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on April 11, 2016