MANILA — Imports are down by 6.8 percent at only $5.113 billion in March, from a year ago, primarily because of the weaker performance of mineral fuels and lubricants.
The decline is following a double-digit growth recorded in February compared to last year’s imports.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, total imports for March is smaller than the $5.486 billion recorded in the same month last year.
“The low oil-price condition remains favorable to the current balance of trade, particularly for trade-in-goods of the country as global oil prices continue to hover way below $100 per barrel at $51.6 for the first quarter of 2015,” National Economic and Development Authority director general Arsenio Balisacan said.
He added that the low price of oil caused an increase in the overall imported crude volume.
“The low price of oil prompted an increase in the overall volume of imported crude by 47.8 percent. It is expected that the increase in energy demand during the summer season will further drive imports of petroleum products,” he added.
Overall, the country’s imports declined by 4.1 percent from $16.348 billion in the first quarter last year to $15.682 billion in the same period this year.