Amid continuing uncertainties posed by the coronavirus pandemic, consumers can look forward to slight relief in their fuel budgets as the cost of gasoline and kerosene prices are anticipated to be on rollback next week.
Based on the calculation of the oil companies, the price of gasoline products will likely be reduced by P0.30 to P0.35 per liter; and kerosene prices to be cut by P0.05 to P0.10 per liter. The cost of diesel will potentially remain steady or unchanged.
The industry players are expected to implement the price cutbacks at the domestic pumps on Tuesday (April 13), based on the usual course of cost swings they have been enforcing every week.
As the deregulated downstream oil sector is dominated by finished product importers, the oil companies apply in their weekly price adjustments a benchmark that is anchored on the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS), a regional pricing index.
Prior to the next round of pump cost adjustments, a monitoring report of the Department of Energy (DOE) showed that petroleum product prices since January this year still logged a net increase of P6.80 per liter for gasoline; P4.65 per liter for diesel; and P3.55 per liter for kerosene.
The rate of Covid-19 infections as well as the pace of vaccination programs of countries around the world still served as the biggest factor influencing international oil price movements.
When economic reopening started flourishing early part of this year, global oil prices climbed to as high as US$70 per barrel, but with Covid infection cases still incessantly rising, price trends decelerated anew to the level of US$60 to US$62 per barrel.
Apart from market precariousness triggered by the pandemic, industry watchers are keenly monitoring the impact of the recent decision of global oil producers led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on restraining production cuts starting May this year – as to how this will exert pressure on prices in the weeks to come.