DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/17 August) — Mindanao’s total trade performance in the first quarter of this year amounted to $1.09 billion or an increase of 41.26 percent compared to $769 million for the same period last year, a report from the Mindanao Development Authority showed.
The report, which was released to the media recently, also showed that coconut oil was Mindanao’s top export commodity in the first quarter of this year with a 29.27-percent share of its total export revenue.
It added that Mindanao’s total export earnings in the first three months increased by 37.56 percent with a value of $652.26 million compared to $474.17 million during the same period last year.
The growth in trade was attributed to the increased performance of the regions particularly Region 9, which covers the Zamboanga Peninsula.
Region 9’s export earnings amounted to $57, 645,248 million in the first quarter this year compared to $17,446,983 million in the same period last year. This also means a 230.40 percent growth rate, the report showed.
Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) followed with a growth rate of 89.32 percent; Region 13 (Caraga) with 76.21 percent; Region 11 (Davao Region) with 14.97 percent; and Region 12 (Southwestern Mindanao) with 5.32 percent.
There were no data on the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) since 2009.
The export revenue earned from coconut oil – crude and refined — amounted to $190.95 million during the first three months of this year, a 191.78-percent increase from $65.44 million in the same period last year.
Northern Mindanao Region was the top exporter of coconut oil with an increase of 754.81 percent followed by the Zamboanga Region with 111.30 percent.
Caraga Region’s two-digit growth rate was attributed to the increases in the export revenues of certain products — 62.45-percent increase for nickel ores and concentrates and 100-percent for chromium ores and live fish.
These exports are valued at $25.36 million compared to $14.39 million in the same period last year.
Fresh banana ranked second as Mindanao’s top export revenue earner with a share of 12.10 percent or $78.95 million.
However, banana exports have decreased this year by 21.31 percent compared to $100.32 million during the same period last year.
Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) president Stephen Antig said that banana production dropped by 30 percent due to the dry spell that hit Mindanao and other parts of country early this year.
While tuna, both prepared or preserved, ranks third with $54.62 million in export revenue which is 9.83 percent lower compared to $60.57 million last year.
Fresh pineapple exports recorded the highest reduction with 28.18 percent.
“It can be noted during the quarter, the agriculture production was adversely affected by the El Niño phenomenon particularly the crops and fishery subsectors,” the report said.
Moreover, the report bared that in the first quarter of this year, the United States was Mindanao’s top export market with a value of $122.99 million or an 18.86-percent share of the total exports.
It also registered a growth of 20.66 percent compared to the same period last year.
The top three commodities being exported to the US are coconut oil (crude and refined), pineapples (prepared or preserved) and tunas (prepared and preserved).
US is followed by Japan as Mindanao’s biggest export market with a value of $117.27 or 17.98 percent of Mindanao aggregate export income.
The other major export markets of Mindanao products during the period were The Netherlands, China, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, United Kingdom, Germany and Italy. (Keith Bacongco/Mindanews)