The Philippine export earnings reached nearly 5.5 billion USD in May, a year-on-year rise of 6.9 percent, driven by strong performance of major commodity groups, according to news reports.

This brought the five-month tally to 24.3 billion USD, up 6 percent on a yearly basis, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) was quoted as saying.

Mineral products posted the strongest rise of 107 percent year-on-year, followed by coconut oil, 45 percent.

Japan continues to top the list, accounting for a 20.4 percent share in total exports. Merchandise shipment to the market was valued at 1.12 billion USD, 6.1 percent higher than the previous year.

In a separate statement, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the outlook for the rest of the year is upbeat.

Deputy Director General Emmanuel Esguerra was cited as saying that it is important for policies to remain supportive of higher exports growth.

He said the capacities of exporters to improve product quality and packaging in line with international standards and practices must be enhanced.

Meanwhile, President of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr said the group is sticking to its 10 percent growth forecast for cargo exports this year.-VNA