MANILA, Philippines – The country’s oil import bill declined over a third in the first half of 2015 due mainly to lower import costs amid declining crude prices in the world market, data from the Department of Energy (DOE) showed.
The net import bill, or the difference between oil imports and exports, amounted to $4.25 billion in the January to June period this year, down 35.9 percent from $6.64 billion in the same period in 2014.
The volume of imported crude oil, however, increased 21.7 percent to 38.249 million barrels in the first six months this year from 30.275 million barrels last year.
The DOE attributed the downward trend to the 50 percent drop in prices per barrel of crude and petroleum products, which dragged the total import cost during the period.
The government data showed total product import cost for the period averaged at $66.098 per barrel versus the average cost of $116.443 per barrel in the same period last year.
It also showed the value of oil imports totaled $2.36 billion million at end-June, which is 39.2 percent lower from $3.89 billion last year.
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In terms of volume, petroleum product imports reached 35.77 million barrels as of first half of 2015, an increase of 7.2 percent from 33.38 million barrels in the first half of 2014.
Crude oil imports, meanwhile rose 21.7 percent to 38.25 million barrels from 30.28 million barrels.
The Philippines gets nearly half, or about 47.1 percent, of its crude oil requirements from Saudi Arabia. Other sources include Kuwait (12.6 percent), United Arab Emirates (10.7 percent) and Qatar (10.3 percent).
On the other hand,the DOE data revealed the country’s petroleum exports earnings for the period fell 32.9 percent to $415.6 million in the first six months of the year from $619.1 million in 2014.
The country exported 5.41 million barrels during the period, a 40.4 percent jump from 3.855 million barrels shipped last year.