As Filipinos scramble for their last-minute errands prior to strict pandemic lockdown, consumers’ pockets will be ripped anew with higher budgets this week as gasoline prices will go up by P1.05 per liter, as announced by the oil companies.
Additionally, the price of diesel will increase by P0.80 per liter; and kerosene by P0.75 per liter effective on Tuesday (August 3), according to the industry players.
As of press time, the oil firms that already sent notices on their price hikes included Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, PetroGazz, Cleanfuel, Seaoil, Chevron, Total and Phoenix Petroleum; while their industry competitors are anticipated to follow — and their adjustments had been based on cost movements of the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS), the pricing index adopted by the domestic players.
Many Filipino families, especially those who will be saddled with more home cooking during the scheduled August 6-20 lockdown period in Metro Manila and several provinces, will also need to cough up higher expense for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as the price of this commodity escalated by P3.35 per kilogram this month or equivalent P36.85 for the standard 11-kilogram cylinder.
Industry players Petron Corporation, Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. and Solane notified on their LPG price hikes effective August 1 (Sunday); and Petron and Phoenix also advised on P1.85 per liter rise on their auto LPG products, an alternative fuel for vehicles.
At the pumps, this is the first upward adjustment this month; and this followed series of price hikes that happened in June as well as the initial three weeks in July – mainly attributed to sustained upswing in prices in the world market.
Despite ominous threat of surging Covid-19 infections because of the Delta variant, global oil prices remained relatively high with benchmark Brent crude still hovering at US$75 per barrel last week.
Experts and market watchers noted that prices had been on a rally last week because of earlier reports of falling crude and gasoline inventories of the United States; while there are dimming prospects on Iran’s capacity to inject additional supply into oil markets.
Despite resurgence of coronavirus infections because of the Delta variant, it was noted that demand in countries with high vaccination rates had not been as badly affected if compared to the height of pandemic last year.
In the Philippines, mobility is expected to drastically decline starting August 6 because of the re-imposition of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), which is the strictest lockdown measure to stem feared surges in Delta variant-induced infections in the country.
For the industry players, that will trigger another round of uncertainty on their on-and-off recovery; and it will somehow be a reverse of bullish sales sentiment in the past weeks.
On the foreign exchange rate sphere, which is the other factor influencing domestic pump prices, the value of the US dollar eased a bit last week, hence, that likewise softened impact on pump price adjustments.