MANILA - The National Economic and Development Authority is looking to tap into the huge potential for growth in the exports of high-value products, especially coffee and cacao, in its efforts to diversify the country’s export products.
Neda Undersecretary for Planning and Policy Rosemarie Edillon told reporters over the weekend that these products enjoy high demand in international markets.
For cacao, Edillon sees huge potential for exports of premium chocolates, as the country could comply with the single source origin preference of importers.
“The markets are there actually especially with respect to coffee and cacao. They (buyers) are asking these from us. Our problem is being able to produce the volume that they need,” she said.
She cited Nestle, a food and beverage company which wanted to buy all the coffee the country could produce.
“But we cannot produce the (required) volume. It requires long-term planning because this is a permanent crop. There has to be a clear direction,” Edillon said.
“There has to be convergence with other programs because we need to produce volume for export,” she added.
The government is targeting an 8-percent growth in merchandise exports for 2018, supported by a revival of the agribusiness sector.
“To achieve this, the Philippines needs to build up integrated industries that would generate higher value addition, especially for key products such as bananas, cacao, coffee, mangoes and rubber as well as for other emerging high value crops,” Neda Director-General and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia earlier said.
The Philippines’ January export receipts on mineral products, meanwhile, surged almost 236 percent in 2018, on the back of higher gold shipments.
Export receipts for mineral products January this year totaled USD352.40 million, exceeding the January 2017’s USD104.93 million, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported.
Gold outshone the rest with outbound shipments of USD167.87 million, followed by copper metal worth USD85.24 million; copper concentrates, USD29.41 million; and iron ore agglomerates, USD6.66 million.
The PSA said receipts for other mineral products reached USD63.22 million.
Mineral product exports accounted for 6.8 percent of the USD5.2 billion total receipts from all Philippine exports in January 2018, the PSA said.
The country’s export receipts on forest products also grew 83.2 percent in January from year-ago figures, with lumber and plywood shipments mainly accounting for the gain.
The PSA said January receipts totaled USD17.89 million in 2018, nearly double the USD9.76 million registered in 2017.
Outbound lumber shipment receipts in January 2018 reached USD8.77 million, almost 45-percent higher than the January 2017’s USD6.06 million.
The PSA said plywood receipts totaled USD8.06 million, surpassing by 190.5 percent last year's USD2.77 million in the same month.
Receipts on other forest products likewise rose 13.4 percent to USD1.05 million in 2018 from USD0.92 million in 2017.
Outbound shipment of forest products helped bring the country’s total January receipts to USD5.22 billion, latest PSA report showed.*PNA
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