By Myrna M. Velasco
The first week of the Christmas month will make a dent on consumers’ pockets as pump prices will be on uptrend – with diesel prices going up by ₱0.65 per liter and gasoline by ₱0.30 per liter.
The oil companies also advised that the price of kerosene, another important commodity for households and some industries, will climb higher by ₱0.50 per liter this week.
As of press time, the industry players that already announced price increases include Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, PetroGazz, Seaoil, PTT Philippines, Cleanfuel and Chevron while the rest of their competitors are anticipated to follow.
Additionally, the price of cooking fuel liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) had gone up by ₱0.24 to ₱0.25 per kilogram for the month of December, based on pricing notices sent by Isla Gas for its Solane brand; and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. for its Super LPG.
The oil firms also announced ₱0.15 per liter price increase in their autoLPG, which is an alternative fuel generally used by taxi fleets in the country.
The weekly adjustments in Philippine pump prices follow global and regional price trends – chiefly anchored on the cost swings of Dubai crude for refiners; and the Mean of Platts of Singapore (MOPS) for the independent players.
For LPG, the monthly cost movements generally track the sway in international contract prices of the commodity based on Saudi Aramco’s pricing, which is considered the benchmark for Asian markets.
Filipino consumers had seen wild gyrations in prices this year – that the seesaw in cost movements treaded from marginal to significant rollbacks then it could also be steep price hikes at times.
Despite the move of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the Russia-led alliance on production freeze, market analysts noted that the “real influencer” on oil prices this year had been the lingering US-China trade war.