Consumers can temporarily heave a sigh of relief this week as the price of diesel products will be on rollback by a significant P3.10 per liter while kerosene prices will also be trimmed by P2.10 per liter as announced by the oil companies.
For gasoline products, the reduction had been at a very lean P0.40 per liter; and the cost adjustments will be due at the retail pumps on Tuesday, May 17.
Industry players that already sent advisories on their price cutbacks include Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, Cleanfuel, PetroGazz, Seaoil and Chevron while their rival oil companies are expected to match the downward cost swings of competitors.
This round of price cuts had been traced to the plunge of international prices early days of last week due to demand contraction projections because of rising inflation rates reported in major countries of the world, including the United States.
The factors influencing domestic oil prices had been the weekly fluctuation in the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) index; plus the Philippine peso-US dollar exchange rate and the bioeful blend to petroleum products.
As of Friday, May 13 trading, prices have been climbing again because of the intensified threats from the European Union (EU) on comprehensive ban versus Russian oil.
On Monday, May 16 market trading, international benchmark Brent crude softened to $109 per barrel from end of last week’s trading at $111-$112 per barrel; hence, there are no clear indications yet what will be the swing of prices that shall be expected at the pumps next week.
In the Philippine market, what is being watched for is the policy direction of the incoming Marcos administration as to how it will address the astronomical rise in oil prices in the short term; so the financial pain in consumers’ pockets could be eased.
The next leadership’s action on the surging fuel prices is seen as a key starting point for its economic managers because their move on this could trigger inflationary impact on the cost of basic commodities as well as on transport fares and wages.
In the series of massive price increases this year, the outgoing Duterte administration has been subsidizing the transport sector through the ‘Pantawid Pasada’ financial assistance being given to public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers.
However, it remains to be seen how the Marcos regime will handle the incessantly rising oil prices, which is anticipated to be sustained in the remaining weeks and months because of the prolonged Russia-Ukraine war.