Consumers will wade through another round of mixed adjustments in oil prices next week with expected hikes in diesel and kerosene products, while gasoline prices will be on rollback.
Based on calculations by industry players, diesel prices will rise by P1.00 to P1.15 per liter, and kerosene rising by P1.90 to P2.10 per liter.
For gasoline commodities, the RON92 products at the pumps will be reduced by P1.70 to P1.90 per liter while RON95 gasoline will have leaner price cuts of P0.85 to P1.05 per liter.
The price adjustments will be implemented on Tuesday, May 31 based on the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS), the pricing reference employed in the weekly cost swings of the domestic downstream oil sector.
As of Friday, May 27 trading, international benchmark Brent crude prices soared anew to the level of $119 per barrel, which has been roughly $7 per barrel higher from the previous week’s comparatively lean average of $112 per barrel, resulting in pump price adjustments in the weeks ahead.
Even Dubai crude, which is the pricing reference for Asian oil markets, also escalated to $108 per barrel from $106 per barrel level in the prior week.
Global market experts indicated that oil prices tracked new wave of surges by end-week trading because of supply tightness amid increasing demand, primarily triggered by re-ignited economic activities as well as the driving season in the United States.
Market jitters also came off with the anticipated decision of the European Union on Russian oil embargo which may be rendered by May 30-31 this year that may cover pipeline as well as seaborne oil deliveries.
Several geopolitical factors have likewise been affecting market fundamentals, including the recent skirmish between the US and Iran – entailing then that the long-aspired “nuclear deal” may no longer happen.
And with the reported decline in US inventories for both crude and gasoline products, market watchers have also been projecting further astronomical rise in oil prices heading to the $130 to $140 per barrel in the weeks ahead.
In the transitioning Philippine leadership, there are no concrete pronouncements yet how the Marcos administration will address lingering upticks in oil prices – although proposals on the scrapping of excise taxes for petroleum products are being resuscitated.
The new government leadership also contemplates on reviving the Oil Price Stabilization Fund (OPSF), a subsidy scheme that was first enforced in the country after the 1970s oil embargo, although there are no concrete details yet how it will be administered this time around.