By Myrna M. Velasco
Price movements at oil pumps this week had been mixed – but the P0.40 increase in per-liter cost of gasoline generally reigned.
Diesel prices had been on very measly rollback of P0.10 per liter; while kerosene prices had been reduced by a relatively significant P0.45 per liter.
Essentially, cost swings had been a reverse of the massive price reductions that the domestic market had experienced in the past two months.
As of press time, the oil companies that already implemented and announced price adjustments include Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, PTT Philippines, Chevron, Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc., Seaoil, Eastern Petroleum, and Petro Gazz.
The oil companies said they will enforce the adjustments effective 6:00 am on Tuesday (December 11). Beyond the players that already sent price movement notices, their competitors are anticipated to follow.
The general trend in the global market last week was upswing in prices following the agreement reached by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and ally-producing countries to enforce fresh round of production cutback.
Four years ago, this was the same market predicament that also ignited OPEC and its Russian-led alliance to trim output so they can lift sagging prices.
The past two months had shown another round of crash in world oil prices, contrary to the expectation of many market players on prices supposedly rising to the level of US$90 per barrel this year.
After reaching US$84 to US$85 per barrel last September, international prices started plummeting up to the US$50 per barrel as of end-November.
In the Philippine market, the two-month downtrend in prices prompted the country’s economic managers to reinstate implementation plan for the second tranche of adjustment in excise taxes for petroleum products.
That will then increase the excise taxes of diesel and gasoline by additional P2.00 per liter by January 1, 2019; and additional P1.00 per liter for liquefied petroleum gas on that same timeframe.