Philippine exports recorded their biggest slump for the year in August as demand for electronic products plunged in the United States, China and other key markets, the government said Wednesday.
Exports totalled $3.8 billion in August, down 9.0 percent from a year earlier, the National Statistics Office said in a statement, making it unlikely the government will achieve its target of 10 percent growth for the year.
Electronic products, which make up about half of the country's shipments overseas, dropped 14.9 percent year on year in August to $1.8 billion, according to the statistics office.
The setback is only the second time exports have fallen this year, after lacklustre economic growth in the West had seen demand for Filipino products slump 6.7 percent in 2011.
The only other decline this year came in March, and that was by just 0.8 percent.
Total exports for the first eight months of the year were up 5.4 percent, at $35.28 billion, and analysts said there was little chance of achieving the government's target for the whole of 2012.
"We expect flat to about five percent growth for the entire year," Accord Capital Equities analyst Justino Calaycay told AFP.
Total shipments to Japan, the top export market for August, rose 4.6 percent to $686.7 million with wood products and electronics the two main items, the statistics office said.
However, exports to the United States, made up mostly of electronics, fell 18.7 percent to $499.3 million and shipments to debt-wracked Europe slumped 14.3 percent to $440 million.
Exports to China, where electronics are also the main item, dropped 42.0 percent to $376.6 million.
Exports to East Asia as a whole fell 13.7 percent to $1.7 billion in August, the statistics office said.