Slight rollback in pump prices next week

Published January 23, 2021, 12:09 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

           For the first time this year, prices at petroleum pumps will be in for a slight rollback next week that could range from P0.05 to P0.25 per liter, based on the initial calculation of the oil companies.

  Industry players hinted gasoline prices will likely be trimmed by P0.15 to P0.25 per liter; while diesel prices could have a reduction of P0.10 to P0.15 per liter.

MB file photo. (Mark Balmores)

           Amid the continuing business snag in the aviation sector, the price of kerosene, considered as base fuel in the industry, will also go down by P0.05 to P0.15 per liter.

           In the past three weeks of January, there had been relentless hikes in pump prices that did not come off as positive development to consumers who are still reeling hard from heavy spending in the last holiday season.

           According to global experts, rally in oil prices had stalled with renewed fears of movement restrictions given the unabated rise in Covid-19 infections in various parts of the world despite the rollout of vaccines already in many countries.

           Since the start of the pandemic last year, it has always been a tough guessing-game as to when the oil industry would finally gain traction for a continuous rebound – given that it has been one among the sectors hardly hit by the health crisis.

           Market experts are also keeping a close watch on the ‘influence’ of the energy-related policies set forth by the new Biden administration, including the scrapping of the Keystone oil pipeline project between Canada and the United States; as well as the move of the US to rejoin the Paris agreement.

           The swing of the US dollar versus other currencies is also being monitored, especially on how the greenback will play out in line with the stimulus spending that the biggest economy of the world would be embarking on.

           Adding a bearish sentiment on the oil market last week had been the move of the International Energy Agency (IEA), wherein it pared demand forecast by 280,000 barrels to 5.5 million barrels a day.

           The outlook cast by the Paris-based think tank is demand lowering of 600,000 barrels per day in the first quarter; and will be a leaner demand reduction of 300,000 barrels a day in the second quarter.