Stating specifically about Iloilo as an international port, Fr. Angel MARTINEZ CUESA, OAR notes: The first direct shipment abroad took place in March 1859.
It was made aboard the English brigantine Pet, which sailed for Melbourne with 270 tons of sugar.
A month later, the English vessel Camilla loaded another 312 tons also for Melbourne.
In 1860 the ships Billiton (Dutch), Madras (German), Alice (English) and M. Wave (American) went to Iloilo and among the four they carried to Australia 2,511 tons of sugar.
From then on the exports from Iloilo increased. In the first six months of 1861, six foreign vessels loaded there, 2,766 tons of sugar.
In 1863, twenty-seven ships went there to load 10,677 tons of sugar.
From 1859 to 1862, Australia was the sole buyer of Iloilo sugar but in 1863 China began importing even more than Australia, purchasing 6,404 tons as against 3,419 bought by Australia.
In 1863, shipments to England began. The 588 tons of the first shipment were to increase greatly in the future.
Data in Table 4 indicate the exportation of sugar in metric tons from the Port of Iloilo to Manila: 750 tons in the year 1855; 850 in 1856; 1800 in 1857; 1,290 in 1858.
Likewise, other data from Iloilo to Manila and other foreign countries respectively: 4,842 tons and 585 in 1859; 4,548 and 2,511 in 1860; and 457 tons and 10,677 in 1863.