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Net oil import bill rises 63% in H1 amid improving demand for petroleum products

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THE country’s net oil imports rose by 63 percent in the first half of the year due to improving demand for petroleum products compared to the same period a year ago when the country was placed under the stricter pandemic curbs.  

The net import bill, or the difference between oil imports and exports, amounted to $4.619 billion from January to June this year from $2.836 billion in the period in 2020.

“Demand improved starting this year. Most of 2020 was in a lockdown mode, but starting 2021, segmented lockdown was enforced,” said DOE-Oil Industry Management Bureau (OIMB) director Rino Abad. 

Total oil import bill amounted to $4.794 billion at end-June this year, 56 percent higher than the $3.075 billion recorded in the same period last year. In terms of volume, total imports stood at 11.241 million liters. Of this, 10.028 million liters consisted of finished products and 1.213 million liters was crude oil.

On the other hand, the Philippines’ export earnings amounted to $174.7 million, down 27 percent from $239 million in the first half of 2020. In terms of volume, the DOE data showed the country’s tota; petroleum export declined by 58.3 percent to 410,000 liters from 983,000 liters at end June last year. Broken down, the country exported 410,000 liters of finished products and zero crude because Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. permanently shut down its refinery operations in Tabangao, Batangas since August last year.

Meanwhile, Petron Corp.’s refinery in Bataan was shut down in May 2020 to give way to maintenance activities on major process units and to mitigate the impact of low fuel demand and poor refining margins. It resumed operations in October last year. However, the facility was closed down again in February and opened in June.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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