Consumers to brace for surge in LPG prices

As if the haywire prices of basic commodities are not enough, consumers will still need to squeeze blood from stone on their household budgets as the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is anticipated to surge by roughly P8.00 to P9.00 per kilogram (kg) or P88-P99 aggregate increase for the standard 11-kilogram cylinder on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

The big increase in LPG price is mainly attributed to the swell in international contract prices as benchmarked on Saudi Aramco, the base level pricing for the Asian markets. The final reckoning of price adjustment for this commodity will be on trading by month-end.

The LPG price hike will also be a reversal from last month’s downtrend in the price of cooking fuel, wherein the LPG firms implemented cost reductions ranging from P3.09 to P4.20 per kilogram.

On top of that, oil prices will also on another round of upswing on Tuesday, Jan. 31, for an estimated P1.20 to P1.50 per liter for gasoline products and P0.70 to P1.00 per liter for diesel, according to the oil companies.

The price of kerosene, which is an essential commodity for household use as well as for key industries, will also rise by P1.10 to P1.40 per liter, based on the calculation of the industry players.

Oil price adjustments are anchored on the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS), a pricing index that has been tracking the flow of oil trading commodities in the regional market.

For fuel products at the pumps, global experts noted that the economic reopening of China has been precipitating unprecedented hike in overall demand, hence, the continued climb in prices of oil commodities.

The lingering fears of economic recession somehow whittled market sentiments last week, primarily after the release of economic data on the GDP growth of the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer.

In the months ahead, it is expected that peaky prices at the pumps may continue as many refineries will be on scheduled shutdowns for maintenance, and that portend temporary tightening of supply in markets which in turn will trigger price hikes.

Predominantly for this year, the price compass is projected to be oscillating mostly in upswing direction as exploration and production investments are still generally seen to be on catch-up mode versus supply needed by markets to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic.