By MYRNA M. VELASCO
Taking cue from the lead of their competitors over the weekend, other oil companies are also implementing hefty rollbacks on their pump prices (January 21), as announced to the media.
The reduction in diesel prices being enforced is ₱1.70 per liter; gasoline at ₱0.90 per liter; and kerosene at ₱1.65 per liter.
As of press time, the oil firms that already advised on price cuts include Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, Seaoil, Cleanfuel, PetroGazz and Total at timeframes from Monday to Tuesday at 6 a.m.
The plunge in prices at Philippine pumps is attributable to the significant softening of prices in the world market following the abated geopolitical tension between the United States and Iran.
The Dubai crude, which is a pricing benchmark for Asian refiners in particular, had been down to $63 to $64 per barrel in last week’s trading after its climb to US$69 per barrel on the first week of this month.
On this round of price rollbacks, the company that jumpstarted downward cost swings had been Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. of businessman Dennis Uy, which implemented the price cuts last Saturday.
Often, some oil companies would jump the gun on competitors when oil prices are on big-time rollbacks not just to gain favorable media publicities for them, but they can also snatch the customers of other oil companies.
There had been calculations of probable heftier rollbacks, but in the end, the industry players just followed the price trends set by Phoenix Petroleum and they attributed such move to be in keeping with market forces.
After this week’s sizeable price rollbacks, the next episode in the oil industry that Filipino consumers would have to deal with will be the implementation of higher excise taxes in petroleum products.
It is highly anticipated that some industry players may already adjust their excise taxes of petroleum products retailed at the pumps as their old inventories had already been fully disposed.
A number of oil companies are already sending advance notices to the media that excise taxes may already go up between middle of this week until this coming weekend but in just some of their stations.