The Republic of the Philippines imported US$112.9 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a 60.9% acceleration since 2015 but a -1.9% downtick from 2018 to 2019.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2019, the Philippine peso depreciated by -13.8% against the US dollar since 2015 but increased by 1.6% from 2018 to 2019. The weaker Philippine peso in 2019 makes Filipino imports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively more expensive than in 2015 when converted starting from the Philippine peso.
From a continental perspective, almost four-fifths (78.8%) of the Philippines’ total imports by value in 2019 were purchased from fellow Asian countries. Trade partners in Europe supplied 9.8% of imports delivered to the Philippines while 7.9% worth of goods originated from North America. Smaller percentages came from Oceania (2%) led by Australia and New Zealand, Latin America (1.3%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Africa (0.2%).
Given the Philippine population of 108.3 million people, its total $112.9 billion in 2019 imports translates to roughly $1,000 in yearly product demand from every person in the Southeast Asian nation.
Philippines Top 10 Imports
The following product groups represent the highest dollar value worth of import purchases during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into the Philippines.
- Electrical machinery, equipment: US$27 billion (23.9% of total imports)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $13.6 billion (12%)
- Machinery including computers: $12.5 billion (11.1%)
- Vehicles: $8.5 billion (7.5%)
- Iron, steel: $3.9 billion (3.5%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $3.7 billion (3.3%)
- Cereals: $2.9 billion (2.6%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: $2.8 billion (2.5%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $2.4 billion (2.1%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $1.9 billion (1.7%)
The Philippines’ top 10 imports accounted for over two-thirds (70.1%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.
Imported optical, technical and medical apparatus posted the fastest-growing increase in value among the top 10 import categories, up 17.5% from 2018 to 2019. The other top category to expand was cereals via its 7% gain, bolstered by Philippines’ higher international sales of rice and wheat.
Leading decliners year over year were iron and steel (down -24.7%) and aircraft and spacecraft (down -14.5%).
Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. For a more detailed view of imported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of Philippines’ Most Valuable Import Products further down near the bottom of this article or under the adjacent product folder tabs.
Filipino importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronic equipment including consumer electronics.
- Integrated circuits/microassemblies: US$13.5 billion (down -20.4% from 2018)
- Phone system devices including smartphones: $3.3 billion (up 25.1%)
- Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $1.4 billion (up 52.3%)
- Insulated wire/cable: $1.2 billion (up 36.7%)
- Electrical converters/power units: $756.1 million (up 19.9%)
- Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $742.7 million (up 3.6%)
- Unrecorded sound media: $549.8 million (up 29.5%)
- Printed circuits: $535.8 million (up 3.2%)
- Electrical capacitators: $498.5 million (up 19.5%)
- TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $457.3 million (down -2.9%)
Among these import subcategories, Philippine purchases of solar power diodes and semi-conductors (up 52.3%), insulated wire or cable (up 36.7%) then unrecorded sound media (up 29.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported electronics among Filipino businesses and consumers.
Filipino importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products.
- Processed petroleum oils: US$7.4 billion (up 20.6% from 2018)
- Crude oil: $3.5 billion (down -32.8%)
- Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $1.9 billion (up 0.7%)
- Petroleum gases: $773.7 million (up 18.2%)
- Natural bitumen, asphalt, shale: $57.8 million (up 10.2%)
- Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $28.7 million (down -17.1%)
- Petroleum oil residues: $21.7 million (down -5.5%)
- Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $14.2 million (up 5.2%)
- Coke, semi-coke: $6.9 million (up 3.1%)
- Peat: $219,000 (down -34.8%)
Among these import subcategories, Philippine purchases of processed petroleum oils (up 20.6%), petroleum gases (up 18.2%) then natural bitumen, asphalt and shale (up 10.2%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported fossil fuel-related products among Filipino businesses and consumers.
Filipino importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machines including computers.
- Computer parts, accessories: US$2.2 billion (up 18.2% from 2018)
- Printing machinery: $1.2 billion (down -24.9%)
- Computers, optical readers: $858.9 million (up 3.7%)
- Miscellaneous machinery: $767.7 million (down -15.6%)
- Piston engines: $535.6 million (up 105.1%)
- Air conditioners: $445.6 million (up 11.8%)
- Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers): $445.1 million (down -39.4%)
- Refrigerators, freezers: $415.2 million (up 7.3%)
- Air or vacuum pumps: $322.5 million (up 7.9%)
- Transmission shafts, gears, clutches: $317.4 million (down -7.3%)
Among these import subcategories, Philippine purchases of piston engines (up 105.1%), computer parts and accessories (up 18.2%) then air conditioners (up 11.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery among Filipino businesses and consumers.
Filipino importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles-related products.
- Cars: US$3.1 billion (down -16% from 2018)
- Trucks: $1.9 billion (up 7.2%)
- Motorcycles: $1.4 billion (up 10.2%)
- Public-transport vehicles: $701.4 million (up 27.2%)
- Automobile parts/accessories: $548.2 million (down -11.8%)
- Motorcycle parts/accessories: $330.2 million (up 15.3%)
- Tractors: $184 million (down -3.9%)
- Special purpose vehicles: $81.2 million (down -13.7%)
- Chassis fitted with engine: $55 million (up 278.8%)
- Trailers: $52.6 million (down -5%)
Among these import subcategories, Philippine purchases of chassis fitted with engine (up 278.8%), public-transport vehicles (up 27.2%) then motorcycle parts and accessories (up 15.3%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported vehicles-related products among Filipino businesses and consumers.
Searchable List of Philippines’ Most Valuable Import Products
The following searchable table displays 100 of most in-demand Filipino imported goods during 2019. Shown beside each product label is its total import value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2018.
|Rank||Filipino Import Product||2019 Value (US$)||Change|
|2||Processed petroleum oils||$7,350,029,000||+20.6%|
|4||Phone system devices including smartphones||$3,275,156,000||+25.1%|
|6||Computer parts, accessories||$2,205,934,000||+18.2%|
|8||Coal, solid fuels made from coal||$1,861,890,000||+0.7%|
|11||Solar power diodes/semi-conductors||$1,441,869,000||+52.3%|
|14||Medication mixes in dosage||$1,362,107,000||+6.4%|
|16||Iron or non-alloy steel products (semi-finished)||$1,228,786,000||-33.1%|
|18||Soya-bean oil-cake, other solid residues||$1,075,994,000||-4.3%|
|20||Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)||$986,193,000||+0.1%|
|21||Computers, optical readers||$858,894,000||+3.7%|
|22||Other food preparations||$797,687,000||+11%|
|25||Electrical converters/power units||$756,084,000||+19.9%|
|26||Lower-voltage switches, fuses||$742,744,000||+3.6%|
|28||Coffee/tea extracts, concentrates||$639,791,000||+18.2%|
|29||Miscellaneous iron and steel structures||$619,335,000||+41%|
|30||Animal/vegetable fats, oils||$594,362,000||+4.2%|
|31||Unrecorded sound media||$549,802,000||+29.5%|
|36||Concentrated/sweetened milk, cream||$525,035,000||+21.1%|
|37||Oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers||$501,901,000||-10.5%|
|41||Whole fish (frozen)||$445,817,000||+10.5%|
|43||Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)||$445,067,000||-39.4%|
|44||Iron ores, concentrates||$432,278,000||+33.4%|
|45||Scents used for beverage or industrial manufacturing||$421,766,000||+12.2%|
|46||Miscellaneous plastic items||$415,321,000||+21%|
|48||Glazed ceramic tiles, cubes||$408,747,000||+11.6%|
|51||Physical/chemical analysis tools||$393,691,000||+296.8%|
|52||Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels||$384,566,000||+32.6%|
|54||TV/radio/radar device parts||$367,937,000||-10.7%|
|56||Blood fractions (including antisera)||$341,688,000||+23.4%|
|58||Plastic packing goods, lids, caps||$333,479,000||-26.2%|
|59||Miscellaneous animal feed preparations||$331,768,000||-1.6%|
|61||Air or vacuum pumps||$322,511,000||+7.9%|
|62||Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products||$318,292,000||-13.3%|
|63||Transmission shafts, gears, clutches||$317,420,000||-7.3%|
|64||Rubber tires (new)||$317,092,000||+0.8%|
|66||Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips||$299,008,000||-4.6%|
|67||Electric sound/visual signal bells or alarms||$298,571,000||+84.7%|
|68||High-voltage switches, fuses||$283,891,000||+12.1%|
|69||Chemicals used in electronics||$281,657,000||+73.8%|
|70||Machinery for making semi-conductors||$281,058,000||-20.7%|
|73||Cases, handbags, wallets||$269,383,000||+38.7%|
|74||Taps, valves, similar appliances||$267,853,000||+8.2%|
|75||Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)||$266,168,000||+3%|
|76||Laminated wood (including plywood, veneer panels)||$265,823,000||-10%|
|77||Red meat offal||$261,142,000||-6.2%|
|78||Electric storage batteries||$259,743,000||+14.8%|
|79||Sanitary towels, baby napkins/liners||$256,881,000||+15.9%|
|82||Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips||$244,863,000||-1.4%|
|83||Other organic cleaning preparations||$242,324,000||+10.5%|
|84||Magnets including electro-magnets||$235,391,000||+79%|
|85||Liquid pumps and elevators||$231,409,000||+8.7%|
|86||Unglazed ceramic flags, tiles, cubes||$229,912,000||+6.6%|
|88||Iron or non-alloy steel angles, shapes, sections||$224,141,000||-29.1%|
|91||Other machine parts, accessories||$219,210,000||-2.4%|
|92||Cold-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products||$219,150,000||-33.7%|
|94||Table games, bowling equipment||$216,124,000||+31%|
|95||Flat-rolled other alloy steel products||$215,390,000||-47.2%|
|96||Centrifuges, filters and purifiers||$215,036,000||-31.1%|
|97||Rubber/plastic article making machines||$212,397,000||+2.6%|
|98||Electric water heaters, hair dryers||$212,103,000||+18.8%|
|99||Apples, pears (fresh)||$207,309,000||+10.8%|
|100||Miscellaneous iron or steel items||$206,382,000||+11%|
These 100 imported goods were worth a subtotal of US$81.4 billion or 72.1% by value for all products imported into the Philippines during 2019.
See also Philippines Top 10 Exports, Philippines Top Trading Partners and Top Filipino Trade Balances
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