EXPORT volumes slipped by 8 percent to 9.04 million metric tons (mmt) in the first quarter of the year from 9.78 mmt in the same period last year, the Philippine Ports Authority said on Tuesday.
“The critical developments clouting the mining industry has affected the industry’s shipments in several ports nationwide,” the state-owned PPA said in a statement.
Cargo volume totaled 54.298 mmt in January to March, up 4.15 percent 52.133 mmt a year earlier, the PPA said.
Container volume totaled 1.521 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), up 4.08 percent from 1.461 million
TEUs in the same comparable period. Ports in Davao, Batangas, South Harbor, National Capital Region North and the Manila International Container Terminal contributed largely to expand container volume.
The PPA said passenger traffic increased by 0.98 percent to 15.893 million from 15.753 million.
“The nominal growth was due to the change in the period of the Holy Week Celebration, while the reliance by the sea-traveling public on Ro-Ro vessels, fastcraft and motorized bancas as primary mode of transportation for domestic interisland connectivity remained as the primary reason in passenger traffic,” PPA said.
Port calls by vessels fell by 1.59 percent to 103,499 from 105,174, reflecting trip cancellations ordered by the Philippine Coast Guard in response to bad weather, and the routine maintenance of passenger vessels.
The Department of Public Works and Highways noted higher imports due to infrastructure developments in the country.
“The PPA is not expecting that such development will drastically increase volume that will warrant another overhaul of the revised 2017 volume forecast of the agency,” PPA said.