Domestic trade recovers in 2021

DOMESTIC trade posted double-digit growth rates in 2021, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Monday, rebounding from steep declines a year earlier.

In quantity terms, domestic trade totaled 20.22 million tons last year, 24.6 percent higher compared to 2020’s 37.3-percent drop to 16.23 million tons.

Value-wise, 2021 growth was 21.6 percent to P718.44 billion from P590.66 million (down 29.2 percent) a year earlier.

Mobility was severely restricted in 2020 as the government imposed quarantines and lockdowns to address the Covid-19 pandemic. The economy subsequently contracted, and it was only in the following year that restrictions were gradually removed.

For 2021, almost all (99.9 percent) of the commodities were traded through water while the rest were traded through air, the PSA said.

Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material led in terms of quantity, accounting for 27.4 percent or 5.54 million tons of the total.

This was followed by food and live animals (4.68 million tons or 23.1 percent) and commodities and transactions not elsewhere classified (3.05 million tons or 15.1 percent).

The Central Visayas region recorded the highest quantity of traded commodities with 7.06 million tons (34.9 percent of the total), followed by the National Capital Region (NCR) with 3.22 million tons (15.9 percent) and Bicol Region with 2.18 million tons (10.8 percent).

Machinery and transport equipment, meanwhile, was the biggest traded commodity in value terms at P200.55 billion or 27.9 percent of the total. This was followed by food and live animals (P171.36 billion or 23.9 percent) and manufactured goods classified chiefly by material (P160.23 billion or 22.3 percent).

By region, the NCR ranked first in terms of total value of traded commodities (P198.17 billion or 27.6 percent of the total), followed by Eastern Visayas (P119.76 billion or 16.7 percent) and Western Visayas (P117.53 billion or 16.4 percent).