Given fresh wave of demand downtrend because of escalating Covid-19 infections, the price of diesel at Philippine pumps will be cut by P0.35 per liter this week; while kerosene prices will be on rollback by P0.45 per liter.
Gasoline, which is the other fuel commodity with weekly price swings, will be unchanged or steady in this round of adjustments, according to the oil companies.
As of this writing, the oil firms that already sent notices on their price reductions had been Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, Cleanfuel, PetroGazz and Seaoil effective Tuesday (March 23); while the rest of the industry players are anticipated to follow.
This week’s downward adjustments had been mainly traced to the softening of prices in the world market, because of the move of many European countries to suspend the administration of AstraZeneca vaccines to their population, hence, reversing prospects of faster inoculation programs in some parts of the world.
There is also added concerns on the rising rate of Covid-19 infections in Europe as well as in Brazil and several parts of Asia, and these are seen triggering new round of slump in demand in the coming weeks.
If the situation will not improve in the coming trading days, global market watchers are indicating that consumers may still benefit from another round of rollback next week.
In the Philippines, the anticipated driving plans of most Filipinos next week for the Holy Week season may no longer happen because of the stricter quarantine measures enforced by the government as the country was being distressed with record-breaking Covid infection cases in recent days.
Industry players are also worried of delayed recovery for the domestic oil sector, if travel as well as economic activities in the country, will continually be crippled.