Brandy, whiskey and wine were the most popular alcoholic beverages imported into the Philippines in 2018. Combined, these three product subcategories accounted for well over four-fifths (86.3%) of all imported alcoholic drinks available for Filipino consumers.
The overall value of Philippine alcoholic beverage imports almost doubled from US$95.4 million during 2014, expanding by 87.8% to $179.1 million worth for 2018.
In contrast, exports of alcoholic beverages from the Philippines totaled $16.8 million in 2018–a dollar amount less than one-tenth of the Philippine bill for alcoholic drinks imported during that same year. On a more granular level, consider that the gap between the Philippines’ exported and imported brandy: $11.2 million earned from its brandy exports versus $91.4 million spent on brandy imports.
Top 10 Imported Alcoholic Drinks in the Philippines
Below are the 10 major types of alcoholic drinks that the Philippines bought from international sources during 2018, sorted by dollar value in ascending order. Shown with parenthesis is the percentage change in value bench-marked against amounts imported in 2013.
- Brandy: US$91.4 million (Up 159.7% from 2014)
- Whiskey: $31.5 million (Up 18.6%)
- Non-sparkling wines: $31.3 million (Up 28.1%)
- Cider, other alcoholic beverages: $5.7 million (Up 1,269%)
- Beer: $5 million (Up 141.3%)
- Gin: $4.3 million (Up 458.1%)
- Liqueurs: $4.2 million (Up 43.6%)
- Rum: $2.3 million (Up 18.5%)
- Sparkling wines: $1.7 million (Up 285.8%)
- Vodka: $1.3 million (Down -15.7%)
Finishing just behind these top 10 categories of booze was vermouth via its $92,000 worth of imports into the Philippines in 2018.
Differing Demand Growth for Imported Drinks
Imported cider and other fermented beverages including perry or mead racked up the most intense growth among thirsty Filipino drinkers, raking in more than 1,269% more in total purchased amount for 2018 compared to 5 years earlier.
Four other types of Philippine-imported alcoholic drinks posted triple-digit increases: gin (up 458.1%), sparkling wines (up 285.8%), brandy (up 159.7%) then malt beer (up 141.3%).
Among the subcategories mentioned in this article, only imported vodka (down -15.7%) and imported vermouth (down -60%) shrank in purchase value over the 5-year period.
Supplier Countries for Imported Alcoholic Beverages
Leading countries where Filipino importers source their alcohol purchases vary by beverage type. For instance, about three-quarters (80.6%) of brandy imported into the Philippines originated from Spain.
Over a third of wine bought by Filipino importers came from the United States (35.4%) ahead of Australia (16.6%), Spain (11.9%), France (9%) then Chile (8%).
Most whiskey that Filipinos purchased in 2018 were sold by international suppliers in the United Kingdom (43.2% of total), Singapore (37%), the United States (12.5%) and Spain (2.2%).
Imported beer originated from a more diverse set of providers. For Philippine importers, the big three global brewskie-shippers are Mexico (18.1% of total), Singapore (15.9%) and Vietnam (12.7%). Additional supplies came from Thailand (9.8%), Belgium (9.4%), the Netherlands (7%), Germany (5.9%), the United States (4.7%) and China (4.5%).
In contrast, 91% of rum exported into the Philippines came from 5 countries but mainly from the United States (43.1% of total). Other big rum merchants were located in the Netherlands (23.6%), Guyana (13%), Singapore (6.4%) and India (5.2%).
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on April 9, 2019
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 9, 2019
Wikipedia, List of countries by alcohol consumption per capita. Accessed on April 9, 2019