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PH ports’ cargo volume up 15.5% in first five months

  • Cargo volume at Philippines ports grew 15.5% in the first five months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020
  • Containerized shipments rose 18%
  • Volume of foreign cargoes increased 22.7%, with exports soaring 70% and imports jumping 23%
  • Domestic cargo volume improved 5.6%

Cargo volume handled at Philippines ports grew 15.5% in the first five months of 2021 as both foreign and domestic shipments recorded increases, according to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

For the period January to May 2021, cargo volumes handled by ports under PPA’s jurisdiction reached 99.776 million metric tons (mt), up from the 86.377 million mt posted in the same period in 2020.

The volume of foreign cargoes, which accounted for 61% of the total, increased 22.7% to 61.335 million mt for the first five months of this year from 49.973 million mt in the same period last year.

Exports posted a 70% growth while imports soared 23% during the period.

Domestic cargoes improved 5.6% to 38.441 million mt from 36.404 million mt in 2020.

Containerized cargoes went up 18% to 2.984 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the first five months of 2021from 2.533 million TEUs handled in the same period last year.

Foreign containers, which accounted for 60% of the total, jumped 17.8% to 1.788 million TEUs from 1.518 million TEUs.

Domestic containers also rose 17.8% to 1.196 million TEUs from 1.015 million TEUs.

Shipcalls serviced by PPA ports in the first five months of the year reached 149,366, a slight increase of 0.3% from 148,948 shipcalls recorded in the same period last year. PPA noted that foreign shipcalls during the period registered a 23.65% growth rate.

Yard utilization at the country’s top international gateways, meanwhile, remained under optimal condition during the period.

Manila International Container Terminal posted the highest utilization rate of 62.13%, followed by Manila South Harbor with 56.03%; and Manila North Harbor, 45.20%.

PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago earlier said cargo volumes are forecast to grow by 7% this year after suffering a double-digit decline in 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ: PPA sees 7% cargo growth with easing of restrictions

Cargo volume is seen to increase to 246.7 million MT in 2021 from 230.44 million MT in 2020. For 2022, cargo volumes are forecast to increase by 1% to 249.17 million MT, and by 3% in 2023 to 256.29 million MT.

For container shipments, Santiago foresees a 6% to 8% increase this year. For 2022, growth is anticipated to decelerate to 1% but accelerate by 3% in 2023.

READ: PH container volume projected to grow up to 8% in 2021

He said PPA is “optimistically conservative” about its growth expectations since the increase in cargo volumes will depend on the easing of people’s movements, as this can improve domestic consumption, the main driver of the country’s trade. – Roumina Pablo

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