Oil firms implement hefty cuts in pump, LPG prices this week

Published March 2, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Myrna M. Velasco

Filipino consumers are in for a big treat this week, with hefty rollback in pump prices amounting to ₱1.60 per liter for diesel; and ₱1.40 per liter for gasoline products.

The biggest price cut is on kerosene products, which is the base for aviation fuel, at ₱1.65 per liter, as announced by the oil companies.

As of this writing, the industry players that already implemented price reductions include Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, Cleanfuel, Seaoil, PetroGazz, Total and Chevron – mostly effective Tuesday (March 3).

Aside from this week’s price cuts, Uy-led Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. also offered a two-hour ₱20.00 per liter discount on Monday – from 9:00 am to 11:00am in 10 selected stations in Parklane Square Almanza Dos in Las Piñas; DRT Highway in Sabang and Tangos in Baliwag, Bulacan; Centennial Road, Tabon 1 in Kawit, Cavite; Mabini, Bauan, Batangas; Pagsawitan, Pagsanjan, Laguna; Pitogo, Consolacion, Cebu; Naga-Naga, Tacloban; Barra Opol, Misamis Oriental; and Marbel, South Cotabato.

For cooking fuel liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), it will also be down this month by ₱3.90 per kilogram or ₱42.90 on aggregate for the standard 11-kilogram cylinder being purchased by households.

Price cuts on the commodity had been effective March 2 (Monday), as advised to the media by players like Petron Corporation for its Gasul brand; Phoenix Petroleum for its Super LPG; and Isla Petroleum and Gas Corporation for Solane brand.

Amid the billowing spook of the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) that has been spreading globally in recent days, it is the oil industry that has been taking much of the ‘financial pain’, hence, the plummeting prices in the world market.

Adjustments of pump prices in the Philippines follow swings of prices in the world market, thus, they capture such drop in prices which had been dominating oil markets since January this year.

Dubai crude, which is the benchmark for Asian oil markets, had plunged to as low as US$50.30 per barrel as of Friday trading, diving even deeper from the US$51 to $52 per barrel it had been hovering at earlier days last week.

In global oil markets, the big question swirling around is whether or not oil producers in the aggrupation of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will step in and be the “savior” in arresting further fall in prices.

Oil demand globally – primarily for gasoline and jet fuel – – had been precipitously sliding as people opted to step back from travels and many other activities for fear of contracting the coronavirus that started from China but is now swiftly spreading in various parts of the world.

And as the World Health Organization (WHO) has raised alert levels to a scale already nearing a global pandemic, experts in the oil industry and even in financial markets cannot assess yet how far these industries could further take the beating.