Oil import bill slumps

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    The country’s net oil import bill slumped by 46.4 percent to $5.9 billion in 2020 from the previous year’s $11.07 billion as fuel demand collapsed due to the effects of the pandemic, data from the Department of Energy showed.

    Net import bill is the difference between oil imports and exports.

    The country’s net import volume dropped 21.7 percent to 125.6 billion liters from 160.5 billion liters in 2019.

    The country bought 136.05 billion liters of fuel last year, 21.4 percent lower from 173.2 billion liters with equivalent cost decreasing by 46.2 percent to $6.37 billion from $11.84 billion.

    Of the total fuel shipped to the Philippines last year, 103.1 billion liters were finished products while the remaining 32.9 billion liters were crude.

    For exports, the country sold 10.4 billion liters of fuel last year, a 17.6 percent decline from 2019’s 12.67 billion liters and equivalent pricing also went down 42.5 percent to $439.4 million from $763.6 million.

    From the total fuel exported last year, 7.9 billion liters were finished products and the remaining 2.5 billion liters were crude.

    The country only has one refinery, Petron’s 180,000 barrels per day facility in Bataan but its operations were suspended due to low fuel demand and poor refining margins.

    The DOE mandates a minimum inventory requirement for refiners a combination of 30 days supply of crude oil and finished products while bulk oil suppliers and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) importers without refining capacity are asked to maintain 15 days supply of finished products and seven days supply of LPG.