Oil price hikes set next week

Published April 16, 2022, 11:57 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Motorists filling up diesel on their vehicles will bear heavier financial pain this week, as this commodity is expected to rise by P1.40 to P1.60 per liter, based on calculation.

Conversely, the price of gasoline will climb slightly by P0.25 to P0.45 per liter, while kerosene prices will also go up by P0.25 to P0.40 per liter.

The new round of price upticks that will be due on Tuesday, April 19, will still be anchored on cost movements linked to the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS), the regional pricing benchmark adopted by the Philippine oil industry players in pricing their products.

This is already the 13th wave of upswing in petroleum prices this year and based on the monitoring report of the Department of Energy (DOE)., the net increases were still massive compared to the only three rounds of price rollbacks in recent weeks.

Since the start of the year, the DOE reported that gasoline prices still incurred aggregate hikes of P15.00 per liter for gasoline; P25.65 per liter for diesel; and P21.10 per liter for kerosene products.

Global oil prices last week had been generally tamed at the $100 per barrel level, but upticks resumed before the Lenten break, reaching to more than $111 per barrel for international benchmark Brent crude.

For Dubai crude, which is the pricing reference for Asian markets, it settled above $104 per barrel at the close of trading on April 14, manifesting new cycle of price rally after dipping to $98 per barrel in the previous week.

International market experts still attribute the unbroken seesaw in prices to the protracted Ukraine-Russia war. The temporary drop in prices had just been due to the committed oil withdrawal in the strategic petroleum reserves of the United States and the member-countries of the International Energy Agency.

Overall though, the prognosis for the international oil market will be for it to endure sustained price increases in the weeks and months ahead – especially with recent threats of the European Union (EU) to ban Russian oil into their markets.

For highly import-dependent countries, like the Philippines, they will remain highly vulnerable to price vulnerabilities and the critical sectors of their economies will have to be continually supported by fuel subsidies.