THE country’s total agricultural trade in the fourth quarter of 2020, which amounted to US$4.66 billion, fell at an annual rate of 6.8 percent. This was faster than the previous quarter’s annual decrease of 3.3 percent and the fourth quarter of 2019’s annual drop of 0.5 percent.
Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that during the quarter, agricultural exports and imports were recorded at $1.47 billion (31.5 percent) and $3.19 billion (68.5 percent), respectively.
The country’s agricultural export revenue fell 10.4 percent to $1.47 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020 from $1.64 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019. During the period, the value of agricultural export accounted for 8.2 percent of the total export of the country.
The total value of agricultural exports of the top 10 commodity groups was $1.41 billion or 95.9 percent of the total agricultural export revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020. The combined export value of these top 10 commodity groups posted an annual decrease of 10.4 percent during the quarter.
Among the commodity groups, edible fruit and nuts; peel of citrus fruit melons, valued at $485.64 million, comprised the largest share of 33.1 percent of the total agricultural exports.
Exports to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member countries in the fourth quarter amounted to $175.01 million, which accounted for six percent of the total exports to Asean member countries. Malaysia was the top destination of agricultural exports worth $71.60 million or a share of 40.9 percent of the total agricultural exports to Asean member countries.
The top three agricultural commodities exported to Asean were tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes valued at $61.73 million followed by animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage products; prepared edible fats; animal or vegetable waxes at $40.31 million and edible fruit and nuts; and peel of citrus fruit melons at $11.70 million.
Meanwhile, the country’s agricultural imports declined by 5.0 percent to $3.19 billion.
Among the major commodity groups, cereals, with a value of $523.22 million accounted for the largest share of 16.4 percent of imports during the quarter.
Indonesia, which accounted for $315.51 million or 31.9 percent of the total agricultural imports from Asean member countries, was the major supplier of agricultural products in the fourth quarter of 2020. Total imports from the Asean amounted to $987.93 million. (KOC)