Fuel budgets of motorists this week will continue to be on downtrend, as prices at the pumps will be on rollback by P1.3 per liter for diesel products, and P0.85 per liter for gasoline products.
The industry players similarly advised on a hefty P1.9 per liter reduction in the price of kerosene, a commodity that is widely used as base fuel for the aviation sector and also an essential product for lighting and cooking needs of many households, especially in the rural areas.
As of press time, the oil firms that already sent notices on their price adjustments had been Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., Seaoil, Cleanfuel, PetroGazz and Chevron effective Tuesday, March 28; while their competitor-firms are anticipated to follow this new round of price cuts at the pumps.
Following this breather on the pockets of consumers, another financial relief that they can look forward to will be the big-time price reduction in the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) that are anticipated to be implemented by April 1.
At this stage, however, LPG retailers – including the Regasco brand, had already started reflecting price cuts for this cooking fuel commodity ahead of the monthly price movements being enforced industry-wide.
Due to the more than $170 per metric ton decline in international contract prices, the anticipated drop in domestic LPG costs at retail outlets that could be enjoyed by consumers will be as much as P8 to P8.5 per kilogram.
On global oil prices, industry watchers had seen another crash in prices last week on the absence of market fundamentals that could change the bearish sentiment on trading outcomes.
Prices have been plummeting in the past three weeks due to the banking crisis precipitated by the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank in the United States; as well as Credit Suisse in Switzerland; that in turn, had prompted many investment funds to take their money out from the oil markets.
The proposed replenishment of the strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) of the United States had been initially expected to trigger demand rebound, but the Biden administration has not given any definitive pronouncement on a timeline for that yet.
The lower prices of fuel at the pumps as well as LPG products would still keep on bringing good news to Filipino consumers, but given the import-dependent nature of the oil market in the Philippines, there is no certainty when these downward swings in prices will last.