THE Cagayan de Oro port has lost cargoes to nearby Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT), in the process dragging down cargo throughput in Philippine Ports Authority PPA)-controlled ports in the first four months of the year.
Latest PPA data showed January to April 2008 throughput declining almost 9% to 45.90 million metric tons (mmt) from 50.35 mmt for the same period last year (see table on page 10).
According to PPA, the decline is largely due to the non-inclusion of cargoes handled by government agency Phividec Industrial Estates. Phividec recently turned over operations of MCT to a private operator — the Mindanao International Container Terminal Services, Inc, a subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
MCT’s cargo throughput used to be part of Cagayan de Oro’s output.
The non-inclusion of cargoes from Phividec dragged foreign and domestic cargo volumes by 11.76% and 5.57%, respectively.
Sluggish movement at the ports of South Harbor, Batangas, Nasipit and Davao also contributed to a decline in domestic cargoes.
At the port of Nasipit, shipments of flour, bottled cargoes, refined petroleum, fruits/vegetable and crude palm oil dropped along with shipments of general cargoes, coco products, fertilizer and petroleum products in Davao.
In terms of foreign trade, export and import cargoes both posted negative growth rates of 14.32% and 10.10%, respectively.
According to PPA, the sharp rise in foreign cargoes at the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), San Fernando,Legazpi and Tacloban failed to counter the pull of lower volume at the North Harbor, South Harbor, Batangas, Dumaguete, Ormoc, Pulupandan, Tagbilaran, Nasipit, Surigao and General Santos.
The volume of imported wheat, crude mineral, mineral fuel, iron and steel handled at Harbor Center Terminal also decreased 19.29%. In addition, a cut in foreign demand for nickel ores contributed to lower export cargoes at the ports of Nasipit and Surigao.
At the port of General Santos, exports of fish products, Dole produce and coco oil accounted for a 24.37% drop in foreign cargoes.
Higher container traffic
Container traffic, meanwhile, continued its uptrend increasing 4.82% for the four-month period despite the 3.10% dip in domestic containerized cargo from 1.21 million TEUs to 1.26 million TEUs.
Foreign containerized cargoes rose 10.58%.
The MICT and South Harbor handled 60.94% of the total domestic container trade.
Contributing to the container throughput increase were more imported raw materials at the MICT, a greater number of vans loaded with export fruits, vegetables and lumber at Cagayan de Oro, and sustained volume of second-hand garments in Davao.
For the first four months of the year, passenger traffic went up 4.25% to 14.56 million passengers from 13.561 million in the comparable period last year.
Domestic passengers accounted for 99.94% of the total passenger volume for the period. Only the ports of Zamboanga received foreign passengers, mostly traders coming from and going to Sandakan, Malaysia.
Shipcalls also grew 4.24% for the period in review from 99,561 to 103,787. Domestic and foreign shipcalls increased 4.31% and 2.21% respectively