Agricultural trade expands 31% to $6.4 billion in Q1

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The value of the country’s agricultural trade further grew in the first quarter by 30.8 percent to $6.45 billion on the back of double-digit increases in imports and exports, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The first quarter figure is higher than the 25.5 percent growth registered in the previous quarter and the 5.8 percent growth in the same quarter a year ago.

Agricultural imports accounted for 69.8 percent of total agricultural trade in the fourth quarter, up 33.4 percent to $4.5 billion.

In contrast, agricultural exports accounted for 30.2 percent of the total trade, recording a 25.3 percent jump to $1.95 billion.

“During the period, the value of agricultural exports accounted for 10 percent of the total exports of the country,”the PSA said.

In the first quarter, the total balance of trade in agricultural goods was -$2.55 billion, up 40.3 percent from the same period last year.

The country’s top exports of agricultural commodities include animals or vegetable oils, edible fruits and nuts,preparation of vegetables, fruits, nuts, meat, fish, and crustaceans, and tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes.

On the other hand, the major import commodities were cereals,residues and waste from the food industries, miscellaneous edible preparations, animal or vegetable fats and oil and their cleavage products, and meat and edible meat offal.

Among ASEAN-member countries, Malaysia remained the top destination of exports with a 32.7 percent share valued at $111.84 million, while Indonesia was the top supplier of agricultural products accounting for $401.91 million or a 26.5 percent share.

The country’s top three major agricultural commodities exported to ASEAN were animal and vegetable fats and oils ($91 million), tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes ($85.14 million), dairy produce; birds’ eggs; natural honey; edible products of animal origin ($ 13.61 million).

Netherlands was the country’s top destination of agricultural exports among European Union member countries, with a value of $328.68 million or a 62.3 percent share.

In contrast, Spain was the country’s top source of agricultural imports in the EU, with total imports reaching $97.48 million.

The top three agricultural commodities exported to the EU include animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage ($337.67 million), preparations of meat, of fish or of crustaceans ($47.08 million), and edible fruits and nuts ($47 million).

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