By Myrna Velasco
Domestic prices of gasoline products are anticipated to go up by a scale of P0.70 to P0.85 per liter, while diesel prices may soften with a very marginal rollback of P0.10 per liter or no price change at all this coming week.
That had been based on the calculation of industry players referencing on the outcome of four-day trading in the world market last week; but may still change depending on Friday’s trading culmination.
Oil companies are expected to adjust their prices on Tuesday (March 12) – and it will be a “follow-the-lead-of-competitor” type of cost movements — a trend wielding the scepter in the deregulated downstream oil industry.
Prior to next week’s price swings, the average per liter cost of gasoline in Metro Manila had been monitored by the Department of Energy (DOE) to be ranging from P46.40 to P57.84 per liter; diesel from P39.90 to P45.20 per liter; while kerosene prices had been at P45.17 to P53.58 per liter.
The gasoline prices of leading oil firm Petron Corporation – depending on octane number or the measure of knock resistance of gasoline – had been hovering at P47.29 to P57.84 per liter; its diesel prices at P42 to P44.99 per liter; and kerosene at P45.17 to P53.31 per liter.
The industry’s number two – Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation – had been retailing gasoline products at Metro Manila pumps within the price latitude of P47.19 to P57.31 per liter; and diesel at P44.29 to P45.04 per liter.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crudes were on downtrend most of last week’s trading, but Dubai crude had been slightly up and touched closer to US$66.50 per barrel.
Global market watchers attribute the softening of prices to the weakening global economic data, which in turn has been taking the edge off on oil demand.
The overall market drift, however, is still on the volatility plane — especially with Saudi Arabia sounding off serious tone to adhere to its production cut commitment.
In the alliance of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its non-OPEC (NOPEC) counterparts, Saudi Arabia pledged to trim output by as many as 322,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) – out of the 1.2 million barrels production cut commitment.
Philippine pump prices follow the world market’s cost swings – and being an oil heavy importing country, it runs sensitive to various geopolitical factors affecting international prices.