Philippine fuel consumption is expected to decline 18% in 2020, due to restrictions on transportation ordeed during the lockdown, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service said.
“The months of business and school closures and movement restrictions had a significant impact on fuel demand; (the USDA representative in Manila) estimates that overall fuel consumption in 2020 will drop 18% compared to 2019,” the USDA said in its annual biofuels report.
It added that fuel use by road vehicles, which include ethanol-gasoline and biodiesel, is expected to drop by “over 20% due to the significant restrictions on transportation.”
The Manila USDA representative “expects a decline in the Philippines’ ethanol-gasoline and on-road biodiesel-diesel pools of 16 and 21% from 2019 to 2020, respectively,” the USDA said.
It added that vehicle use remains lower than normal, even after quarantine restrictions were eased in recent months.
The USDA also estimated gasoline use of around 5.7 billion liters and 8.6 billion liters of diesel this year. In 2019, the correponding totals were 6.9 billion and 10.5 billion liters respectively.
Accordiong to US export data, the Philippines was the sixth-largest importer of US fuel ethanol in 2019, at 250 million liters valued at $94 million.
The Biofuels Act of 2006 and department circulars from the Energy Department set the fuel ethanol and biodiesel blends at 10% and 2% respectively. The recently approved 2018-2040 Philippine Energy Plan recommended maintaining the current blend mandates, while revisiting biofuel blends and feedstock availability in the medium to long term. — Angelica Y. Yang