TRADE of commodities across the country during the first quarter of the year rose in value despite the drop in volume, preliminary data released on Tuesday by the Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA) – National Statistics Office showed.
The accompanying statement gave no explanation for the rise in value.
The figures showed that the total value of commodities that flowed within the country reached P169.44 billion in the January to March period, up 29.3 percent from P131 billion in the same period of 2013.
The total volume of transactions fell by 14.3 percent to 5.13 million tons from 5.99 million tons.
“The commodities were traded mostly through water [shipment],” comprising 99.8 percent in the first quarter of 2014, against 99.9 percent in the comparative period in 2013, the PSA said.
Metro Manila, or the National Capital Region, reported the biggest share of the trade, accounting for 29.2 percent, or P49.55 billion.
Food — the biggest chunk
Food and live animals comprised the bulk of traded commodities in value terms during the three-month period, accounting for P52.56 billion, or 31 percent of the total.
This was followed by machinery and transport equipment, valued at P29.67 billion or 17.5 percent of the total, while manufactured goods, classified chiefly by materials, posted P25.31 billion or a 14.9 percent share.
Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes had the least value of P1.92 billion, or a 1.1 percent share.
Next to Metro Manila, the Western Visayas accounted for 22.4 percent of the total domestic trade, valued at P38.00 billion. Central Visayas followed with 14.5 percent valued at P24.52 billion, while Northern Mindanao accounted for 14.5 percent, or P15.45 billion. Cagayan Valley’s domestic trade contributed the least share among the regions, with only P25,000, according to the data. MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO