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Oil import bill jumps nearly 32% in 2018

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oil tanker ship

THE COST of oil imports in 2018 hit $13.48 billion, up 31.8%, due to the combined effects of higher fuel prices and increased import volumes, the Department of Energy (DoE) said on Thursday.

The DoE said the cost of imports breaks down into 54.5% from finished products and 45.5% from crude oil.

Last year, the country imported crude oil amounting to $6.14 billion, up 41.8%, after the cost, insurance and freight (CIF) per barrel of crude oil rose to $71.587 from $55.774 previously.

The total import cost for finished products rose 24.4% to $7.34 billion at an average CIF price of $75.216 per barrel. A year earlier, the import bill was $5.90 billion at an average CIF cost of $60.548 per barrel.

On the other hand, petroleum export earnings for 2018 rose 40% to $1.36 billion.

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The net oil import bill was $12.12 billion, up 30.9%.

The DoE said 86.9% of the crude oil imports were sourced from the Middle East, of which 33.7%, with Saudi Arabia the top supplier, accounting for 33.7% of the total.

Kuwait had a 26.3% share of the Philippine crude market, followed by the United Arab Emirates and Russia with 20.9% and 7.4%, respectively.

Some 4.5% of crude imports were from within ASEAN while domestic output accounted for 0.1% of the crude total. Some crude oil was also imported from Nigeria. The remaining 1.9% was from Oman, Taiwan and South Korea.

Meanwhile, the DoE reported that the oil major accounted for 52.8% of the market in terms of demand. These are Petron Corp., Chevron Philippines and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. Smaller oil firms and direct importers accounted for the rest. — Victor V. Saulon

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