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$63.2 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017. That dollar amount reflects an 11.5% increase since 2013 and a 12.3% gain from 2016 to 2017.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, exported goods plus services from the Philippines represent 32.1% of total Filipino economic output or Gross Domestic Product. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

From a continental perspective, about two-thirds (66.4%) of Filipino exports by value were delivered to fellow Asian countries while 16.3% were sold to North American importers. The Philippines shipped another 15.4% worth of goods to European clients.

Given the Philippines’ population of 104.3 million people, its total $63.2 billion in 2017 exports translates to roughly $600 for every resident in the densely populated Southeast Asian island.

The unemployment rate for the Philippines was 5.3% in January 2018 compared to 4.7% as of December 2016, per Trading Economics.

Philippines Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Filipino global shipments during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from the Philippines.

At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level, the most valuable products exported from the Philippines are electronic components, computers, insulated wire or cable, cruise ships and coconuts.

  1. Electrical machinery, equipment: US$28.4 billion (44.8% of total exports)
  2. Machinery including computers: $9.4 billion (14.8%)
  3. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $2.6 billion (4.1%)
  4. Copper: $2.1 billion (3.2%)
  5. Ships, boats: $1.7 billion (2.7%)
  6. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $1.6 billion (2.6%)
  7. Wood: $1.4 billion (2.2%)
  8. Gems, precious metals: $1.4 billion (2.1%)
  9. Fruits, nuts: $1.2 billion (1.9%)
  10. Vehicles : $1.2 billion (1.8%)

Philippines top 10 exports accounted for four-fifths (80.4%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Copper was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up 213.9% from 2016 to 2017.

In second place for improving export sales were Filipino shipments of gems and precious metals which rose in value by 79% propelled by booming international sales of gold.

High expense items ships and boats posted the third-fastest gain improving by 61.6%.

Only two of the top Filipino export categories declined in value, namely vehicles (down -17.6%) and wood (down -50.8%).

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 is 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$6.8 billion (Up by 50.7% since 2016)
  2. Ships, boats: $1.5 billion (Up by 84.8%)
  3. Copper: $1.3 billion (Up by 3445.6%)
  4. Gems, precious metals: $1.2 billion (Up by 98.1%)
  5. Fruits, nuts: $873.2 million (Up by 9%)
  6. Wood: $782.9 million (Down by -66.2%)
  7. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $730.1 million (Down by -18.7%)
  8. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $521.6 million (Up by 72.5%)
  9. Nickel: $429.3 million (Up by 75.3%)
  10. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $399.4 million (Down by -13.1%)

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 -$35.3 billion trade deficit in 2017 up 19.1% from the -$29.6 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$10.3 billion (Up by 35.5% since 2016)
  2. Vehicles : -$7.5 billion (Up by 21.5%)
  3. Machinery including computers: -$4 billion (Up by 3.5%)
  4. Iron, steel: -$3.7 billion (Up by 25.3%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: -$2.5 billion (Up by 7.3%)
  6. Cereals: -$1.6 billion (Up by 11%)
  7. Pharmaceuticals: -$1.6 billion (Up by 18.6%)
  8. Ores, slag, ash: -$1.3 billion (Down by -266.6%)
  9. Miscellaneous food preparations: -$1.2 billion (Up by 10.5%)
  10. Aircraft, spacecraft: -$1.2 billion (Up by 13.8%)

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

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)



 
The capital city of the Philippines is Manila.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level.

See also Philippines Top Trading Partners, Japan’s Top 10 Exports and Highest Value Chinese Export Products

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 9, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 9, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on March 9, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 9, 2018

Wikipedia, List of Companies of the Philippines. Accessed on March 9, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 11, 2016

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