PHILIPPINES: The country’s net oil import bill surged 37.6 percent in the first half to $4.3 billion from $3.1 billion a year ago, on higher commodity prices this year, Energy Department records show. Net oil imports refer to the difference between total oil imports and exports. Data showed that total oil import bill jumped 37.1 percent in the six-month period to $4.7 billion from $3.42 billion in the same period last year, while petroleum exports climbed 31.6 percent to $417.4 million from $317.2 million. The Energy Department said the 37.1-percent increase in total oil import bill was “attributed to the combined effects of higher import cost and higher volume of imports.” Total oil import cost was made up of 60.1 percent finished products and 39.9 percent crude oil. Total imports of crude oil climbed 30.3 percent to $1.87 billion from $1.43 billion a year ago, as the cost, insurance and freight price per barrel rose to $52.33 from $37.838 last year. Total product import cost went up by 41.9 percent to $2.81 billion at an average CIF cost of $58 per bbl, compared to $1.98 billion at an average CIF cost of $44.768 per bbl last year.
Petroleum exports rose 31.6 percent as the freight on board cost per barrel went up to $55.753 this year from $38.46 in 2016. The country imported various types of crude oil in the first half which reached 35,759 million barrels, down 5.7 percent from 37,940 million barrels a year earlier. Around 86 percent of the total crude mix was sourced from the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE) while 9.8 percent of crude oil was imported from Russia and Japan. Another 2.8 percent came from Australia. The balance was sourced from Asean. First-half petroleum product imports reached 48,592 million barrels, up 9.6 percent from 44,352 million barrels in the same period last year.
The top imported product in the first half was diesel oil which grew 3.9 percent from last year’s level. LPG import jumped 24.7 percent while kerosene/AV turbo and gasoline increased 21.3 and 7.1 percent, respectively. Total demand for petroleum products reached 81,061 million barrels in the first half, higher by 2.6 percent than 78,989 million barrels in the first half of 2016. Local refiners (Petron Corp. and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp.) captured a combined 49.3-percent of the total market demand, while 50.7 percent was credited to direct importers/end-users. Among LPG players, Liquigaz got the biggest market share with 23.6 percent, followed by Pryce Gases with 12.8 percent. Current inventory for refiners is equivalent to 30 days while an equivalent of 15 days stock is required for the bulk marketers and seven days for the liquefied petroleum gas players.