Capital goods like machinery and transport equipment were the main items of trade in the Philippines during the third quarter, attesting to the resurgence of manufacturing that is helping the local economy lead growth in Asia.
Data from the Philippine Statistical Authority showed that of the P144.4 billion domestic trade recorded as of last September, machinery and vehicles were being shipped nationwide accounting for P38.84 billion or 26.6 percent of the total.
This was followed by food and live animals, for household consumption valued at P36.26 billion or 25.1 percent of the total, while manufactured goods amounted at P19.52 billion or a 13.5 percent share.
Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes had the least value of P78 million or 0.5 percent share.
The National Capital Region accounts for more than one-fourth of trade, being the main supplier of the top goods traded. The largest buyers were from the Caraga and Zamboanga regions. Caraga being the manufacturers’ hub is one of the largest buyers.
It also followed that the most progressive regions where manufacturers are based like Metro Manila and Western Visayas lead in terms of trade. The National Capital Region accounted for the biggest share of the trade in the third quarter, taking up 25.8 percent of the total or P37.26 billion.
Western Visayas came in second with 15.5 percent of total domestic trade, valued at P22.43 billion. Central Visayas followed with 13.8 percent, valued at P19.87 billion, while Eastern Visayas accounted for 11.5 percent, or P16.66 billion.
Cagayan Valley’s domestic trade contributed the least share among the regions, with only P10,000 worth of transactions.
The PSA data also showed that Metro Manila posted the most favorable trade balance at P15.47 billion in the third quarter.
Other regions with more than a billion positive trade balances were Central Luzon, with P10.24 billion and Eastern Visayas with P5.93 billion. In contrast, Caraga suffered an unfavorable trade balance of negative P11.40 billion.
Other regions with more than a billion negative trade balances were Zamboanga Peninsula with P4.97 billion, Calabarzon with P4.85 billion, Central Visayas with P4.56 billion, Northern Mindanao with P2.04 billion, Mimaropa with P1.96 billion, Ilocos Region with P1.30 billion, and Davao Region with P1.18 billion.
Most of these items were shipped considering the country is an archipelago. The PSA yesterday reported that total trade for the third quarter was up 0.4 percent from P143.88 billion last year.
The volume of commodities traded decreased by 15.4 percent to 4.12 million tons from 4.87 million tons a year earlier.
“Trade transaction through water was the major mode of transport in the third quarter of 2013 comprising 99.7 percent and 99.6 percent in the same period of the current year,” the statistical agency said.