Filipino consumers can continue to breathe a sigh of relief, however tiny the rollback maybe, on their weekly fuel budgets as pump prices are due to come down again by Tuesday, Aug. 16, based on the calculation of the oil companies.
According to the industry players, diesel prices will be reduced by P0.95 to P1.15 per liter; while the estimate for gasoline products will be a very marginal rollback of P0.05 to P0.15 per liter; or that could even be reversed with an increase if oil companies will enforce other cost adjustments, like in their biofuel blend.
The price of kerosene, which is categorized as another socially sensitive commodity because it has been serving critical industries like aviation and even the agriculture sector, will be trimmed by P0.25 to P0.45 per liter.
The oil firms will adjust their prices next week as anchored on the cost swing of the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) index, a regional trade pricing that has been adopted by the deregulated downstream oil industry when it comes to implementing cost movements.
Prior to next week’s fresh round of adjustments, price movements since the start of the year still posted net increases of P30.15 per liter for diesel; P24.75 per liter for kerosene; and P17.55 per liter for gasoline products, as culled from the monitoring report of the Department of Energy.
In the international market, the pricing compass still oscillates in uncertain directions -that last week, international benchmark Brent crude had been on a seesaw from $94 to $98 per barrel through the stretch of the trading week.
Manifestly, it was the Dubai crude, a pricing reference for the Asian oil markets, that had been on upswing – hitting more than $96 per barrel from a plunge to $92 per barrel in the prior week.
Global oil markets are still recession-perturbed, although last week, they had gotten mixed signal from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) as to how demand would be shaping in the months ahead.
In particular, the Vienna alliance-steered OPEC has lowered its demand forecast for the remainder of the year by 260,000 barrels per day; while Paris-based IEA had jacked up crude demand projections to be growing by 380,000 barrels per day.
On a longer-term trajectory, however, both the OPEC and IEA agree on market perception that supply will remain a lingering concern despite the economic recession pressures that have been overwhelming markets.
In the domestic industry, public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers have been delighted at the string of six-week rollback because that meant higher earnings that they can bring home to their families; but when market gloom strikes again, there is no definitive policy yet laid down by the Marcos administration how they could be waded through financial drawbacks.