Big time fuel price hikes due again next week

Published January 15, 2022, 11:54 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

The pinch on consumers’ pockets will continue next week, as oil prices will be rising again for the third time this month.

Oil pumps

Calculations by oil companies based on the outcome of trading in the international market, estimated price adjustments will be P1.75 to P1.85 per liter for diesel; and P2.10 to P2.20 per liter for kerosene products.

For gasoline, the price hikes will likewise be significant at P0.90 to P1.00 per liter for 92RON and 95RON products being retailed at the petroleum pumps.

The estimated price hikes are reckoned from the swing of the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) indices.

According to the industry players, the calculated adjustments have not factored in yet the value depreciation of the Philippine peso versus the greenback, which so far skidded to P51.11/$ as of Friday, Jan. hence, actual adjustments could be higher than the current calculations.

International benchmark Brent crude surged past US$86 per barrel last week; a remarkable jump of roughly US$5.00 per barrel from the previous week; while Dubai crude, which is the pricing reference for Asian market, topped US$81 per barrel.

The oil companies will implement the next round of price hikes on Tuesday (January 18), in keeping with the routine that the deregulated downstream oil sector has already been enforcing through the years.

As culled from the monitoring report of the Department of Energy (DOE), the cost adjustments in the last two weeks had already driven up pump prices by P2.60 per liter for gasoline; P3.50 per liter for diesel; and P2.75 per liter for kerosene.

Industry experts noted that there had been attempt on the part of China to abate upticks in global prices via its planned release of crude from its strategic reserves, but that has not gained traction so far.

The international oil price spikes last week had been mainly attributed to constrained supply flow from Libya; and the lower-than-anticipated crude output that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its ally-producers (known as OPEC+) could be injecting into markets.

In the Philippines, the policy cushion being pushed in Congress is to suspend for six months the imposition of excise taxes on petroleum products, but the measure has yet to gain legislative approval.