DOMESTIC TRADE in value in 2021 rose 21.6% to 718.44 billion pesos, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said, reflecting a recovery in the economy from the low base formed in 2020, the first year of the pandemic.
The discovery was contained in PSA’s final report on the flow of goods in the Philippines released on Monday.
In volume, domestic trade increased by 24.6% to 20.22 million tons.
The flow of goods, also known as internal trade, refers to the flow of goods through the maritime, air and rail transport systems. Most of the internal trade was maritime.
ING Bank NV Manila Branch Chief Economist Nicholas Antonio T. Mapa said last year‘s rise in trade was due to base effects.
“The gradual reopening of the economy has been done during periods of low virus case numbers and this has helped boost trade numbers,” he said in an email.
Mr Mapa expects domestic trade this year to “remain positive although we will have to (anticipate) more moderation as base effects are eliminated”.
Seven out of 10 product groups increased in value last year. Machinery and transport equipment, which accounted for 27.9% of domestic trade, rose by a third to reach 200.55 billion pesos. In volume, trade in this segment increased by 26.1% to 2 million tonnes.
The value of animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes contracted by 46.6% to reach 2.42 billion pesos. In volume, trade in these goods fell by 42.1% to 56,698 tons.
Raw materials, inedible, excluding fuels, showed the highest volume growth rate at 1.97 million tonnes in 2021 from 846,762 tonnes a year earlier. In value, the category grew 54.6% year-on-year to reach 15.56 billion pesos.
The National Capital Region was the main source of commodities last year with total outflows amounting to 198.17 billion pesos, for a trade surplus of 130.32 billion pesos.
The main commodity destination was the Central Visayas, which recorded inflows valued at 135.54 billion pesos against a trade deficit of 37.60 billion pesos. — Keisha B. Ta-asan