Philippines benefits from global trade tensions

10:06 | 18/09/2019 Global Economy

The Philippines has gained from the trade war between the US and China, according to a review of export data of the country in the first seven months of 2019 by Maybank Kim Eng analysts.

Cargo at the Manila International Container Terminal in 2012 - Photo: Bloomberg

Amid global trade tensions, the Philippines’ shipments to the US and China together rose by 9.2 percent year-on-year in the January-July period.

The Philippines supplied 3.9 percent more goods to the US in trade categories that have been hit by tariffs on Chinese products, largely manufacturing-related items.

Meanwhile, China bought 1.3 percent more goods from the Philippines for items subject to tariffs on US imports, despite an overall decline in Chinese imports from the Philippines.

Electronics exports from the Philippines to both markets rose amid trade tensions. Shipments of automatic data-processing machines parts to the US nearly doubled against the same period last year, while similar shipments to China were up by 69.7 percent.

The Philippines is also supplying more tariffed consumer goods like plastic furniture, the export of which to the US grew by 74.8 percent - and farm products, such as bananas and pineapples, to China.

However, the Maybank Kim Eng economists said the Philippines should not be too optimistic, noting that purchasing managers’ sentiment dimmed in August on the back of softer new orders.

They warned that Philippine manufacturers were less optimistic about future output as only 57 percent expect higher output next 12 months, the second lowest print on record.

In a separate report, a Citibank analyst said the Southeast Asian country’s year-on-year export growth of only 0.1 percent in the first seven months points to a relatively more benign impact from the US-China trade tension against Asian neighbours.

Theo VNA