Agri trade down 6.8% in Q4 2020

The Philippines’ total value of agricultural trade declined to $5.65 billion in the last three months of 2020, down by 6.8 percent from the $4.99 billion registered in the same period a year earlier, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

The agency said the country’s agricultural export decreased by 10.4 percent valued at $1.46 billion from October-November last year, compared with $1.63 billion during the same period in 2019.

“During the period, the value of agricultural exports shared 8.2 percent to the total export of the country,” PSA said.

Likewise, agricultural imports went down by 5.1 percent to $3.19 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020 from $3.36 billion recorded in the prior year. The share of agricultural imports to total imports was at 13.5 percent.

“In the fourth quarter of 2020, the total balance of trade in agricultural goods was $-1.72 billion. This reflects a deficit, but with an annual increase of 0.1 percent,” PSA said.

The value of the top ten agricultural exports at $1.41 billion comprised 95.9 percent to total agricultural export revenue in the last three months of 2020. Topping the list of agricultural commodity exports were edible fruit and nuts; and peel of citrus fruit melons valued at $485.64 million, which also comprised the largest share of 33.1 percent to total agricultural exports.

Agricultural exports to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member-countries totaled $175.01 million, which accounted for 6.0 percent of total exports to the region.

Among the Asean member-states, Malaysia was the top destination of Philippine agricultural exports valued at $71.60 million or 40.9 percent to total agricultural exports to the region’s states.

Major agricultural commodities exported to Asean member-countries were tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes ($61.73 million), and animal or vegetable fats and oils ($40.31 million).

Meanwhile, exports of agricultural goods to European Union (EU) member-countries amounted to $213.31 million, translating a share of 11.5 percent of the country’s total exports. On the other hand, agricultural imports from EU member-countries reached $306.70 million, accounting for 19.3 percent of total imports.

Among the EU members, Netherlands was Philippines’ major trading partner in the first quarter of the year, with exports valued at $90.57 million and imports amounting to $70.92 million, according to PSA.

The agency said the leading agricultural exports to the EU member-countries were animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage products ($58 million); and preparation of meat, of fish, or of crustaceans, mollusks and other aquatic invertebrates ($47.94 million).

It added that top major import commodities from the EU-member countries included meat and edible meat varieties ($89.47 million), dairy products ($75.14 million), and residues and waste from food industries ($32.65 million).