Philippine August exports post steepest drop in 8 mths

* Exports in Aug at $3.8 bln vs yr-ago $4.2 bln

* Electronics shipments down 14.9 pct from yr ago

MANILA, Oct 10 (Reuters) - The Philippines' statisticsoffice on Wednesday released data on August exports:

KEY DATA:Total exports Aug July June May Apr Mar

yr/yr change (pct) -9.0 6.0 4.3 19.7 7.6 -0.8

in $ bln 3.8 4.73 4.31 4.93 4.64 4.32Electronics exportsyr/yr growth (pct) -14.9 -25.6 -14.6 -0.7 -23.8 1.1in $ bln 1.77 1.68 1.89 1.87 1.64 2.26

NOTE: Some numbers for previous months have been revised.


- Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan has saidrising orders from other countries and healthy demand for thePhilippines' agricultural products should offset soft demandfrom traditional markets for its main semiconductor products.

- The economic planning chief has said the country willlikely meet the high-end of its 5 to 6 percent growth as strongdomestic demand will likely compensate for the weakness inexports.

- The Semiconductors and Electronics Industries in thePhilippines Inc cut its export growth forecast this year to 5-7percent from 10-15 percent on slowing demand, although the groupis hopeful of a rebound in orders in the second half aftercurrent inventory cuts stabilise.

- The government has forecast export growth of 10 percentthis year. It has trimmed its import growth forecast to 12percent from 15 percent as manufacturers feel the brunt of theglobal economic slowdown.

- The Philippine central bank kept its key policy rate lastmonth, but economists believe that with inflation under control,it may ease policy further before the year ends to support theeconomy and contain the peso's strength.

- The Philippines provides about 10 percent of the world'ssemiconductor manufacturing services, including for mobile phonechips and micro processors. Semiconductors account for aboutthree-fifths of exports.

- Other top exports include garments and accessories, woodfurniture, vehicle parts, coconut oil, and tropical fruits.


- National Statistics Office website

(Reporting by Erik Dela Cruz; Editing by Rosemarie Francisco)

((karen.lema@thomsonreuters.com)(+632 841-8938)(ReutersMessaging: karen.lema.reuters.com@reuters.net))