The country’s net oil imports drastically increased by 87.9% to $11.15 billion in 2021 from $5.93 billion in 2020, slightly beating that of pre-pandemic levels, based on data from the Department of Energy (DOE).
In 2019, the net import bill, or the difference between oil exports and imports, was recorded at $11.06 billion.
Net import oil volume increased to 22,204 million liters in 2021, surpassing the 15,137.2 million liters in 2020, and the pre-pandemic level of 16,026 million liters in 2019.
The cost of crude imports also went up to $2.26 billion in 2021 from $1.47 billion previously, but relatively lower than $4.04 billion in 2019. In a report by The Philippine Star, DOE Oil Industry Management Bureau Dir. Rino Abad said that the lower cost could be attributed to the closure of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation’s Tabangao Refinery in Batangas City, leaving Petron as the country’s lone oil refiner.
Overall, the total import bill amounted to $11.73 billion, 78.5% higher than the previous year’s $6.37 billion.
Volume-wise, total imports rose by 8.3% to 23.4 billion liters. Of the total imports, 79.8% are from finished products, while 20.2% came from crude oil. Imported crude oil decreased by nine percent to 4.72 billion liters from 5.24 billion liters.
Imported petroleum products, however, went up by 22.8% to 14.92 billion barrels.
Meanwhile, the country’s export earnings rose by 32% to $580 million last year versus $439 million previously.