PH oil import bill jumps 32%
Domestic demand for petroleum products inched up by 1.4 percent in volume in 2018, but the import bill jumped 32 percent in value amid efforts by crude oil exporters to limit output and raise prices.
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), demand in the Philippines for petroleum products reached 168.8 million barrels last year from 166.5 million barrels in the previous year.
These are equivalent to 462,500 barrels daily compared to 456,300 barrels daily in 2017.
Diesel, which accounted for 42 percent of domestic demand, showed a 3.2-percent rise in volume.
Demand for gasoline—24 percent of total—increased by 3 percent, while that for liquefied petroleum gas used for cooking—accounting for 10 percent of total demand—went up by 10 percent.
The DOE said the Philippines incurred a bill of $13.5 billion, or about P707 billion, on petroleum products imported in 2018, revving up by 32 percent from $10.3 billion in 2017.
This was due to the combined effects of higher import cost and increased import volume of crude oil, the DOE said.
For finished products, which represented 45 percent of imports, the bill jumped by 24 percent to $7.4 billion at a cost of $75.22 per barrel. In 2017, refined oil imports were valued at $5.9 billion at a cost of $60.55 per barrel.
Crude oil, which accounted for 55 percent of imports, billed at $6.2 billion last year, up 42 percent from $4.3 billion previously.
The cost of bringing in crude oil jumped to $71.59 per barrel this year from $55.77 per barrel in the previous year.
The DOE noted that in 2018, the peso traded at an average of 52.67 against the US dollar, compared to 50.83 in 2017.
Even then, the Philippines exported $1.4 billion worth of petroleum products, up 40 percent from $972.5 million.
The bulk of Philippine exports included condensate, fuel oil, gasoline, propylene and naphtha as well as crude oil from the Galoc oil field in Palawan.
This brought the Philippines net oil import bill in 2018 to $12.1 billion, 31 percent higher compared to $9.3 billion a year earlier.
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