Strong import volume bumps Ph cargo throughput higher by 6% as of October

JANUARY 12, 2017, MANILA—The country’s import sector maintains its strong performance bumping Philippine cargo throughput higher by 6% as of October 2016.

The continuing strong performance by the sector is anchored on the high demand of imported consumer products including Christmas goods and foodstuff.

Passenger volume is also on the rise due to the increasing cruise ship arrivals in the Philippines bringing in more tourists resulting in a high double-digit growth in foreign passage traffic.

Latest data from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) showed that cargo throughput reached 198.441 million metric tons (mmt) for the 10-month period compared to the 187.209 mmt handled in the same period of 2015.

Foreign cargo, composed of import and export shipments, totaled 124.581 mmt or 8.58% higher than the 114.732 mmt posted a year earlier, wherein import volume registered a 13.31% increase while exports posted a 3.24% hike.

Domestic cargoes, on the other hand, inched up modestly with a 1.91% growth rate to 73.859 mmt from 72.476 mmt handled in 2015.

Container traffic, meanwhile, also posted a modest increase of 8.46% to 5.182 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) for the period in review as compared to the 4.778 million TEUs processed in the same period of 2015.

Foreign boxes posted an 11.06% hike in volume to 3.173 million TEUs from 2.857 million TEUs wherein foreign containers contributed 1.607 million TEUs or 13.13% higher than its 2015 figure while export boxes totaled 1.566 million TEUs or 9.02% higher than the 1.436 million TEUs handled in the same 10-month period in 2015.

Similarly, domestic containerized traffic inched higher after registering a 4.6% growth to 2.009 million TEUs from 1.920 million TEUs in 2015.

Among the ports registering positive deviation, include North Harbor, South Harbor, Bataan/Aurora, Agusan, Surigao and Zamboanga as well as Batangas, Limay, Cagayan de Oro and Pulupandan.

As expected, the Manila International Container Terminal handled the largest volume of containerized cargo for the period in review at 1.786 million TEUs followed by South Harbor with 866,674 TEUs and Batangas with 127,160 TEUs. North Harbor continues to rank first in terms of volume of domestic containerized cargo handled during the period with 1.016 million TEUs.

Total passengers embarking and disembarking at Philippine ports summed up to 53.792 million wherein domestic passengers totaled 53.708 million, up 8.31% while foreign passengers totting up to 83,283 or a 22.36% hike from the 68,062 total foreign passengers as of end October 2015.

Nationwide shipcalls likewise went up by 4.98% to 333,630 shipcalls from 317,806 in 2015. Foreign-flag ships totals 9,713 calls, up 16.23% while domestic shipcalls registered a 4.68% hike with 323,917 calls from 309,449 calls in 2015.