By Myrna Velasco
Gasoline prices are anticipated to go up by P0.80 to P0.90 per liter next week, based on the calculations of the oil companies.
For diesel, it will still be a rollback of P0.30 to P0.40 per liter; along with kerosene products of which prices are projected to go down by P0.20 to P0.30 per liter.
The estimates had been based on the four-day outcome of oil commodity trading in the world market.
Next week’s price adjustments will likely be watched closely amid the filing of a new complaint against the oil companies targeting their scheme of enforcing uniform price adjustments on a weekly basis.
Such manner of pricing adjustments had been relentlessly questioned in the past – with some government administrations even carrying out reviews and investigations. But allegations of cartelization against the oil companies were never proven because the review bodies were either weak or they lack expertise in assessing the real workings and business dictum of the downstream oil sector.
Pump prices in the Philippines move on a weekly basis; and implementation by the oil companies are usually timed on a Tuesday.
As of Friday trading, the price of benchmark Dubai crude was at the level of US$60, relatively steady throughout except mid-week when it climbed to US$61.70 per barrel.
The other factor that has been influencing domestic pump prices is the peso-dollar exchange rate, but notably, there had been no wild swings on the forex last week.
Aside from price fixing allegations, the oil companies are also confronted with other complaints such as the wide discrepancy in their prices across market-domains, especially in the provinces.