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Hefty pump price hikes implemented

By Myrna M. Velasco

The string of bad news continues for Filipino motorists; as they will be greeted anew with big-time price hikes at petroleum pumps starting this morning (Tuesday) at ₱2.10 per liter for diesel; and ₱1.75 per liter for gasoline.

Even for the aviation industry which is already gearing up for return to operations, the ₱2.65 per liter increase in kerosene products this week will likewise come as a worrying precept because this would entail higher fuel cost that will be borne by consumers.

And since kerosene is also a vital commodity underpinning other industries such as fishing as well as the lighting needs of communities in far-flung areas, this unfavorable development on the cost swing of the product will certainly make a dent on consumers’ pockets.

As of press time, the oil firms that already announced the implementation of price increases include Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, Seaoil, PetroGazz, Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc., PTT Philippines and Cleanfuel effective Tuesday (May 26); while their industry competitors are anticipated to follow.

Because of the stricter compliance of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its ally-producers on the agreed production cuts, continuous rally in prices had the reigning trend in the past weeks.

In fact, according to market analysts, oil prices may escalate back to the level of US$50 to US$60 per barrel toward the year end; and that is seen as a positive development by oil and gas industry players which suffered from bloodbath during coronavirus lockdowns in March and April.

Brent crude, which is the key benchmark in the international pricing of petroleum commodities, had climbed back to the level of US$35 per barrel as of last week; although market watchers noted that was still a far cry from the US$60-$63 per barrel scale before movement restrictions were enforced by countries all over the world.

For an oil import-dependent country like the Philippines, the rising international prices will mean additional costs to be paid by Filipino consumers when they fill up their vehicles at the pumps.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://business.mb.com.ph/2020/05/25/hefty-pump-price-hikes-implemented/)

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