EXPORTS in northern Mindanao scores an overwhelming increase of 180 percent in the first half this year against last year, records from the regional National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) revealed.

The NEDA-Northern Mindanao said the region exported a total of US$269.34 million worth of products, 50 percent of which came from Misamis Oriental, the region’s consistent dollar earner.

Next in rank was Lanao del Norte province, which captured 27.64 percent of the total exports.

Except for Camiguin, the rest of the provinces posted substantial growth in exports, indicating huge demand for local products abroad.

Misamis Occidental, though it contributed 11 percent of the total exports, marked the highest growth for the second quarter this year among other provinces, registering US$28.7 million, or a 23,842 percent increase from US$120,000 during the same period in 2009. This tremendous increase was brought about by the resumption of the operation of two oil mills and two frozen prawn processing plants located n the province.

Lanao del Norte’s main export of crude coconut and cochin oil valued at US$94.29 million accounted for over a third of the total export earnings of the region.

Oleochemicals, another coconut-based product, was the second biggest export earner with US$55.71 million, or 20.68 percent of the regional total.

Fresh bananas landed third among the top 10 exports of the region, accounting for 21 percent of total growth. The surge in demand for bananas in the foreign market resulted in expansion of farm operations of some Davao-based companies located in Bukidnon such as Soriano Fruit Corporation, Stanfilco, DOLE Philippines (North Skyland Zone) and AMS Farming Corporation.

The value of the region’s top 10 exports in the second quarter is almost fourfold its value in the same quarter last year while six of the 10 export commodities are now in double-digit figures, compared to only two figures in the previous comparable period.

By sector, coconut-based products remain the major export earning US$170.97 million, representing 63 percent of the regional total. This is followed by fresh fruits with 11 percent share of total exports.

Among the major export gainers are fresh fruits, with 586 percent, iron and steel with 500 percent and coconut-based products at 399 percent. Special transactions jumped at 1045 percent from $0.11 to 1.26 million.

article by Loui S. Maliza of SSC

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