Philippines: Cargo exports volume dropped, imports increased

CARGO exports declined as export volumes dropped by a double-digit percentage while imports grew 3 percent, according to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

Foreign cargo volumes slipped 3 percent to 160 million metric tons (MMT) from 165 MMT in 2021. The low exports highly contributed to this as total exports declined 11 percent, from 70 MMT in 2021 to 62 MMT in 2022. While imports increased 3 percent from 94 MMT in 2021 to 97 MMT in 2022.
The PPA’s report accounted a total cargo volume of 261 million in 2022, compared to the 262 MMT in 2021; Luzon ports accounted for 54.4 percent or 142 MMT; Visayas ports accounted 16 percent or 44 MMT; and Mindanao ports accounted 28.7 percent or 75 MMT.
These numbers are in line with what PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago said that “we are very optimistic on ports; we’re still looking at 7- to 8-percent growth in cargo volume.”
He added that they are seeing passenger traffic growth momentum to continue in 2023 as the country’s ports continue their operations with strong activity levels as the economic situation improves.
However, according to the analysis of The Manila Times, the Philippines chose importation, which is a typical band-aid solution.
The analysis states that the country increases its gross domestic product when it imports commodities or rehabilitates infrastructure damaged by typhoons. However, importation and repairs do not bring in dollars. It is the exports. The more the Philippines imports, the more it must generate dollars or buy them.