Diesel prices cut by P3.00/liter; gasoline by P2.10/liter

Consumers will have lighter financial burden this week as the price of diesel product will be on a hefty rollback of P3.00 per liter, while gasoline will also be reduced by P2.10 per liter.

For kerosene, which is the base for aviation fuel and also an essential commodity for other industries and households, this will have a price decline of P2.30 per liter, as announced by the oil companies.

As of this writing, industry players that already sent notices on their price cut-backs had been Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, Seaoil, Cleanfuel, PetroGazz and Chevron effective Tuesday (February 7), while their competitor-firms are anticipated to match the newly enforced drop in prices.

This is already the sixth adjustment in pump prices since the start of the year, but is just the second time that prices had been on rollback, the first being on January 10.

Prices at domestic gasoline stations have their cost movements anchored on the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS), the reference pricing being applied by the players of the deregulated downstream oil industry in the Philippines.

The downswing in pump prices this week had been mainly triggered by sudden drop in global oil prices due to easing inflationary pressures, as well as the lack of any new factor that could have driven prices up.

Even with the recent economic reopening of China, market watchers indicated that there had been no manifest rise in industrial activities yet; hence, that prompted the dive on prices in the world market last week.

International benchmark Brent crude had fallen to as low as $76 per barrel as of Friday (February 3), but it is apparent that it bounced back to the level of $80 per barrel as of Monday, Feb. 6 trading.

Despite the price uptrend, there are no definite trajectories yet if such scale of cost swing on futures contracts will be sustained throughout the week – because if that will be the case, then the next round of price movement will be increases.

When prices are on rollback mode, the transport sector of the Philippines is generally calm because that will give public utility vehicle (PUVs) drivers more cash that they can bring home to their families.

However, if prices are on uptick, there will always be din of protests on the streets because that will mean leaner income for drivers; and it will also entail higher budgets that consumers will have to bear not just on their fuel expenses, because oil prices typically have spiraling effect on the costs of basic commodities and services.