In 2016, Filipinos collected about US$600,000 dollars more from selling their precious metals and gems on international markets than they paid in purchases for imported gold, silver, platinum, jewelry and precious stones.
Gold is the most lucrative precious metal exported from the Philippines. Filipino gold exports totaled US$641.7 million in 2016–almost 5 times the $136.3 million worth of gold imported into the Philippines.
The second-leading precious metals and gems subcategory exported from the Philippines is jewelry. In 2016 the Philippines shipped $51.5 million worth of exported jewelry around the globe, with $21.8 million of that amount for imitation jewelry. Filipinos imported $6.8 million worth of imitation jewelry and $3.2 million in authentic jewelry items.
Filipino exporters sold $24.6 million in pearls to global customers while importing over a half million dollars ($647,000) worth of the organic gemstone.
In contrast, the Philippines ran product deficits in the international trade of silver and platinum. Philippine silver exports were $2.6 million versus $3.6 million for its imported silver. Similarly, platinum exports were $117,000 versus the $317,000 that Filipinos paid for imported platinum.
Philippines Top Precious Metals and Gems Exports
Below are the major categories of precious metals and gems and the corresponding dollar values for Philippine exports for 2016.
- Gold: US$641.7 million (84.7% of Philippines’ exported precious metals or gems)
- Precious metal scrap: $34.9 million (4.6%)
- Authentic jewelry: $29.6 million (3.9%)
- Pearls: $24.7 million (3.3%)
- Imitation jewelry: $21.8 million (2.9%)
- Silver: $2.6 million (0.3%)
- Synthetic precious stones: $1.1 million (0.15%)
- Platinum: $117,000 (0.02%)
- Precious stones other than diamonds: $3,000 (0.0004%)
The fastest-growing export sales category from the Philippines in 2016 was synthetic precious stones via a 6,189% gain since 2009 when the Great Recession began. The second-greatest increase was 1,124% for Philippine precious metal scrap shipments.
The largest precious metal export from the Philippines, gold posted the third-fastest appreciation almost tripling from the $216.9 million in gold exports during 2009.
Philippines Top Precious Metals and Gems Imports
The following categories of precious metals and gems attracted the highest dollar value in Philippine import purchases during 2016.
- Gold: US$136.3 million (85.4% of Philippines’ imported precious metals or gems)
- Imitation jewelry: $6.8 million (4.2%)
- Metals clad with platinum: $5.3 million (3.3%)
- Silver: $3.6 million (2.3%)
- Authentic jewelry: $3.2 million (2%)
- Goldsmith/silversmith wares: $1.4 million (0.9%)
- Pearls: $628,000 million (0.4%)
- Diamonds: $468,000 million (0.3%)
- Synthetic precious stones: $322,000 million (0.2%)
- Platinum: $317,000 million (0.2%)
- Precious metal scrap: $277,000 million (0.17%)
The fastest-growing import purchases category was metals clad with platinum which appreciated by 265,600% from $2,000 in 2009 to $5.3 million for 2016. Goldsmith or silversmith wares improved by 3,911% compared to the 3,205% increase in value for pearls over the 8-year period starting in 2009.
The World Factbook, Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on July 26, 2017
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on July 26, 2017
World’s Top Exports, Gold Exports by Country. Accessed on July 26, 2017
World’s Richest Countries, Top Jewelry Exporters. Accessed on July 26, 2017