The 100 most valuable consumer products imported into the Philippines in 2020 generated a subtotal US$36.9 billion worth of international spending. The consumer-specific dollar amount represents 40.7% of the overall value of all goods imported into the Philippines ($90.8 billion).
The 5 most valuable consumer products imported into the Philippines during 2020 were processed petroleum oils, phones, computer parts or accessories, cars and coal.
The total dollar amount for the top 100 imported consumer products from the island nation nicknamed The Pearl of the Orient declined by -20.3% from 2019 to 2020. The top 100 consumer metric compares to a -19.6% drop for all Filipino-imported goods for the year.
Philippines’ purchases of imported products, both overall and for consumer goods, dropped at a much faster pace than the global average decline of -8.2% from 2019 to 2020 for all importing countries.
Among the top 100 consumer products imported by the Philippines, 27 increased in total value from 2019 to 2020 whereas 73 declined. Changes in Filipino consumer demand for essential imports offer future opportunities for international suppliers who correctly anticipate which upward or downward trends will continue.
Consumer Products Defined
Economics educator BoyceWire defines a consumer product as a final good or end product that a business creates for consumers to buy. For example, consumers often purchase refined petroleum oil at the gas station while imported crude oil is an intermediate good subject to further processing before being sold to end users.
Although there may be a few wealthy individual buyers, products like turbojets are excluded from the consumer products targeted by this study. That is because turbojets are usually purchased by corporations. In contrast, it is common for a consumer to buy a motorcycle.
Types of Consumer Products
This article focuses on 3 distinct consumer product types.
Convenience Products are easy to access, non-durable, have relatively lower prices and therefore consumers frequently purchase them. Examples of convenience products are food, alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, and soap.
Shopping Products are not as easily available, involve more time to make a buying decision, are durable and are not bought as often as most convenience products. A great example of a shopping product is a mobile phone where buying the wrong model is a much more expensive mistake than buying a disappointing loaf of bread.
Specialty Products describe another consumer product type. This grey area includes infrequently purchased, expensive, durable and sometimes rare items. Consumers may consider the product’s brand image when making their purchase decisions. Some examples of speciality products are gold, silver, diamonds, jewelry, and branded refrigerators and dishwashers.
Filipino Consumer Imports Smart List
The searchable marketing intelligence table below showcases Philippines’ 100 highest-value imported consumer products in descending order. Items were selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level.
The table’s fourth column is labeled YOY for year over year. The fifth column identifies each entry’s consumer product type.
|1||Processed petroleum oils||$4,441,939,000||-39.6%||CP|
|3||Computer parts, accessories||$2,138,689,000||-3%||SP|
|5||Coal, solid fuels made from coal||$1,478,354,000||-20.6%||CP|
|11||Computers, optical readers||$859,017,000||+0.01%||SP|
|12||Other food preparations||$797,786,000||+0.01%||CP|
|13||Electrical converters/power units||$729,863,000||-3.5%||SP|
|14||Lower-voltage switches, fuses||$641,238,000||-13.7%||SP|
|15||Concentrated/sweetened milk, cream||$549,919,000||+4.7%||CP|
|16||Coffee/tea extracts, concentrates||$534,348,000||-16.5%||SP|
|17||Miscellaneous plastic items||$411,989,000||-0.8%||CP|
|19||Packaged insecticides, herbicides||$406,817,000||+11.5%||SP|
|20||Electric storage batteries||$390,745,000||+50.4%||SY|
|24||Whole fish (frozen)||$345,606,000||-22.5%||CP|
|26||Plastic packing goods, lids, caps||$314,027,000||-5.8%||CP|
|28||Apples, pears (fresh)||$300,547,000||+45%||CP|
|30||Magnets including electro-magnets||$287,537,000||+22.2%||SY|
|32||Sanitary towels, baby napkins/liners||$254,783,000||-0.8%||SP|
|33||Malt extract, food preparations||$247,585,000||+42.7%||CP|
|34||Hot-rolled iron/non-alloy steel items||$227,739,000||-28.4%||SP|
|35||Unrecorded sound media||$223,363,000||-59.4%||SP|
|36||Other organic cleaning preparations||$222,533,000||-8.2%||CP|
|37||Rubber tires (new)||$214,702,000||-32.3%||SP|
|40||Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries||$205,192,000||+5.7%||CP|
|42||Soap, organic surface-active goods||$183,700,000||+31.9%||SP|
|44||Sauces, mixed condiments, seasoning||$170,690,000||+12%||CP|
|45||Fresh or dried citrus fruit||$170,262,000||+36.4%||CP|
|46||Miscellaneous iron or steel items||$169,243,000||-18%||SP|
|47||Vulcanized rubber items||$168,918,000||-12.5%||SP|
|48||Uncoated paper for writing/printing||$159,940,000||-2.8%||CP|
|50||Electric water heaters, hair dryers||$157,183,000||-25.9%||SY|
|52||Electric generating sets, converters||$154,617,000||-13.5%||SY|
|53||Oral/dental hygiene preparations||$147,686,000||+3.3%||CP|
|54||Cases, handbags, wallets||$144,190,000||-46.5%||SP|
|55||Dishwashing, clean/dry/fill machines||$143,430,000||+2.3%||SY|
|56||Red meat offal||$142,078,000||-45.6%||CP|
|57||Unused stamps including postage||$141,476,000||+239.9%||SP|
|59||Grapes (fresh or dried)||$138,806,000||+19.2%||CP|
|60||Waters with added sugar||$133,859,000||-12.9%||CP|
|61||Screws, bolts, washers, hooks, pins||$132,746,000||-8.1%||SP|
|68||Plastic wares (table, kitchen, toiletry)||$121,710,000||-15%||CP|
|71||Prepared vegetables (frozen)||$114,412,000||-29.6%||CP|
|73||Chocolate, other cocoa preparations||$108,217,000||-14.1%||CP|
|74||Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys||$105,921,000||-39.5%||SP|
|75||Prepared glues, adhesives||$102,625,000||-10.5%||SP|
|77||Paper containers, cellulose wadding||$99,656,000||-8.5%||SP|
|78||Shaving preparations, deodorants||$96,117,000||+8.1%||SP|
|79||Glass bottles, other containers||$95,614,000||-13.5%||SP|
|82||Coins excluding legal tender||$91,861,000||-30.8%||SY|
|84||Bombs, grenades, mines, missiles||$85,203,000||-22%||SY|
|86||Seats (not barber/dentist chairs)||$84,261,000||-42.8%||SP|
|87||Miscellaneous textile items||$82,962,000||+212%||SP|
|88||Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)||$82,305,000||-51.1%||CP|
|90||Footwear (outer soles rubber/plastic)||$80,714,000||-43.4%||SP|
|91||Interchangeable hand/machine tools||$79,182,000||+4.6%||SY|
|92||Video console games, table games||$75,705,000||-65%||SP|
|94||Caps, lids, corks, pouring stoppers||$74,372,000||-9.1%||SP|
|95||Dried shelled vegetables||$73,672,000||+18%||CP|
|96||Sugar (cane or beet)||$69,049,000||-38.5%||CP|
|97||Wrist/pocket watches (regular case)||$68,104,000||-12.3%||SP|
|98||Prepared cereal foods||$66,648,000||-12.8%||CP|
|100||Sugar confectionery (no cocoa)||$66,400,000||-31.5%||CP|
The most popular product type is shopping products (SP) led by phones including smartphones, computer parts or accessories, cars, trucks, insulated wire or cable and motorcycles. Shopping products represent 42 of Philippines’ top 100 imported consumer goods.
Close behind in second place via 40 entries are convenience products (CP) led by processed petroleum oils, coal, medications, rice and miscellaneous food preparations.
There were 18 speciality products (SY) ranking among the top 100. Examples of speciality products are Filipino imports of electric storage batteries, refrigerators and freezers, nitrogenous fertilizers, air conditioners and magnets including electro-magnets.
Durable consumer products are goods like cars, trucks, printing machinery, insulated wire or cable, and furniture that last a relatively long time. Consumers can put durable products to use again and again. By product type, note that both shopping products and speciality products are considered as durable consumer goods.
Non-durable consumer products (ND) are goods that are not re-used once consumed. Coal, medications and sugar are examples of non-durable goods. Convenience products are uniquely non-durable consumer products.
Based on the product types identified in the above table, 60 of Philippines’ highest-value consumer imported products are durable while 36 are classified as non-durable.
Using the provided table, you can also peruse the greatest increases or decreases in product values from 2019 to 2020. To do so, click on the heading of the fourth column.
Fastest-Growing Consumer Imports
Listed below are the top 10 consumer products imported into the Philippines that experienced the highest percentage increases in spending from 2019 to 2020.
- Unused stamps including postage stamps: Up 239.9% ($141.5 million)
- Miscellaneous textile items: Up 212% ($83 million)
- Electric storage batteries: Up 50.4% ($390.7 million)
- Corn: Up 46% ($212.5 million)
- Fresh apples and pears: Up 45% ($300.5 million)
- Malt extract, food preparations: Up 42.7% ($247.6 million)
- Fresh or dried citrus fruit: Up 36.4% ($170.3 million)
- Soap, organic surface-active goods: Up 31.9% ($183.7 million)
- Magnets including electro-magnets: Up 22.2% ($287.5 million)
- Fresh or dried grapes: Up 19.2% ($138.8 million)
Among the above top 10 gainers, half are durable goods that consumers can re-use over time. Three of those durable items are shopping products specifically unused stamps, miscellaneous textile items and soap or organic surface-active goods. The 2 fastest-growing speciality products are electric storage batteries and magnets including electro-magnets, which also satisfy the technical definition for durable goods.
The fastest-growing convenience products are corn, fresh apples and pears, malt extract and food preparations, fresh or dried citrus fruits, and fresh or dried grapes. Consumers consider these items as non-durable products, commonly referred to as disposable goods and therefore are used only once.
Worst-Declining Consumer Imports
Spending by buyers in the Philippines on the following 10 items decreased at the greatest pace from 2019 to 2020.
- Printing machinery: Down -66.9% ($407 million)
- Video console games, table games: Down -65% ($75.7 million)
- Unrecorded sound media: Down -59.4% ($223.4 million)
- Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs): Down -51.1% ($82.3 million)
- Cases, handbags, wallets: Down -46.5% ($144.2 million)
- Red meat offal: Down -45.6% ($142.1 million)
- Liquid pumps: Down -44.1% ($129.3 million)
- Automobile parts or accessories: Down -43.7% ($308.7 million)
- Footwear outer soles of rubber or plastic: Down -43.4% ($80.7 million)
- Seats (excluding barber and dentist chairs): Down -42.8% ($84.3 million)
Two among the Philippines’ top 10 declining imports are non-durable convenience products consumed one time, specifically alcohol including spirits or liqueurs and red meat offal.
Seven among the remaining major import decliners are shopping products that normally require more time for consumers to make buying decisions. Purchases under the shopping products category are more likely to be deferred than convenience products. Examples of these shopping goods range from printing machinery to video console and table games.
The lone speciality product among the severest decliners was liquid pumps.
Key Suppliers by Country
This analysis reveals competitive suppliers that target Filipino demand for its top 5 consumer import products.
For the Philippines, the biggest imported consumer product by value is processed petroleum oils. The 4 other leading consumer products imported into the Philippines are phones including smartphones, computer parts or accessories, cars, and coal.
Below, you will find major supplying countries for the Philippines’ imported:
Processed petroleum oils: China (34.2% of total), Singapore (18.3%), South Korea (18.1%), Malaysia (11.2%), India (5.7%), United Arab Emirates (2.5%), Taiwan (2.4%), Thailand (1.5%), Qatar (1.3%), and Japan (0.8%).
Phones: China (65.2% of total), Hong Kong (9.5%), Singapore (7.2%), Vietnam (5.1%), Indonesia (2.3%), Japan (1.9%), United States (1.5%), Malaysia (1.2%), Taiwan (1%), and South Korea (0.9%).
Computer parts or accessories: Hong Kong (29.4% of total), Japan (25.4%), China (18.1%), Thailand (9.2%), Singapore (7.4%), Taiwan (5.6%), United States (1.8%), Vietnam (0.8%), Malaysia (0.7%), and South Korea (0.6%).
Cars: Indonesia (45.1% of total), Thailand (29.1%), China (8.7%), Japan (6.7%), India (2.1%), United States (2.0%), Germany (1.3%), South Korea (1.1%), Malaysia (1.0%), and Belgium (0.6%).
Coal: Indonesia (95.4% of total), Australia (1.6%), Russia (1.5%), Vietnam (1.4%) and China (0.02%).
Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational portals.
BoyceWire, Consumer Goods Definition.
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Philippines Economy.
International Trade Centre, Trade Map.
Trading Economics, Philippines Consumer Spending.
Wikipedia, List of largest consumer markets.
World’s Top Exports, Philippines Top 10 Imports.