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Domestic trade flows grow sharply in Q2

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THE VOLUME and value of domestic trade both grew sharply across most categories of commodity shipped during the second quarter, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

According to preliminary data released Monday, the PSA said the value of domestic trade in the three months to June rose 25.3% year-on-year to P216.29 billion.

By volume, commodities traded domestically during the period amounted to 6.51 million tons, up 28.1% from a year earlier.

Most of the eight commodity categories monitored by the PSA posted gains in volume, with the crude materials and inedibles except fuels category posting a 79.4% gain to 808,364 tons. By value, the category declined 9.6% to P3.76 million.




Miscellaneous manufactured articles came in second with a 62.2% increase to 210,819 tons. Value however soared 109.7% to P13.03 million.

Food and live animals came in third, rising 47.6% to 1.35 million tons. Value grew 41.9% to P49.15 million.

Other items that expanded in volume during the period were beverages, growing 38.7%; animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes, 17.1%; manufactured goods classified chiefly by material, 16.2%; and mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, 12.8%.

Meanwhile, chemical and related products declined 43.6% to 240,914 tons, though they rose 9.2% by value to P12.35 million.

Machinery and transport equipment declined by 8.1% to 655,569 tons while value increased 9.7% to P74.4 million.

Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion, Chief Economist at the UnionBank of the Philippines, said the year-on-year growth in volume corroborates the robust 6% gross domestic product growth in the second quarter this year.

“With the expanding movement of goods, inputs, and other products, this soundly underpins economic expansion and further growth,” Mr. Asuncion said in an e-mail on Monday when asked for comment.

That machinery and transport equipment topped the traded commodities by value “somehow confirms the rising trend of increasing investments in infrastructure development from the public sector,” according to Mr. Asuncion.

“This, in turn, influences further private investments that contribute to growth across the board,” he added.

ING Bank N.V. Manila Senior Economist Nicholas Antonio T. Mapa said a recovery in Central Visayas trade flow value was due to increased investment in the region.

“Movement of goods is seen from regions with ports to other areas although it is quite interesting to see that Central Visayas has swung to a positive trade balance from last year. This can reflect that investments have moved into this region with goods remaining in the said areas for growth and development,” Mr. Mapa said in an e-mail.

Mr. Mapa noted that the accelerated flow of goods across regions shows resilience in the economy notwithstanding increased transportation costs due to higher fuel prices and interest rates.

“Overall the trends in domestic trade continue to point to a still burgeoning growth momentum, which bodes well for overall GDP going forward,” Mr. Mapa added. — Janina C. Lim