Consumers will need to shell out more for their fuel budgets this week as the price of diesel products will be higher by P1.05 per liter; while gasoline product costs will rise by P1.00 per liter, according to the pricing adjustment announcements of the oil companies.

The price of kerosene, which is another essential commodity, will also increase by P0.95 per liter, as advised by the industry players.

As of press time, the oil firms that already sent notices on their price hikes had been Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, Cleanfuel, PetroGazz and Seaoil effective Tuesday (January 19), while their rival-firms are all anticipated to follow.

MB file photo. (Mark Balmores)

In the past three weeks of incessant upward cost movements, gasoline prices had already climbed by aggregate P2.30 per liter; diesel by P1.65 per liter and kerosene by P1.60 per liter.

International benchmark Brent crude had been at US$54 to US$55 per barrel in trading days last week; while Dubai crude, which is the pricing reference for Asian markets, had surged past US$55 per barrel.

There had been renewed slowdown in demand in European markets in recent weeks because of the continuing movement restrictions because of the new Covid-19 strain.

Nevertheless, it was noted by market watchers and experts that the depressed demand in Europe, had been offset by more buoyant consumption in Asian markets – primarily Australia and some countries in the Southeast Asian region.

Apart from the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) as a main pricing reference, the Philippine downstream oil market also factors in the fluctuations in the peso-dollar exchange rate in the weekly adjustments of pump prices.

In the coming days and weeks, what is being watched closely by global market experts is the stimulus package spending that the administration of new United States President Joe Biden will enforce, because that will impact on supply-demand balance given that the US is biggest oil consumer in the world.

Continuing developments are also monitored on the pace of Covid-19 inoculation in various parts of the world, as the easing of movement restrictions and enhanced economic recoveries, will depend largely on when countries would already attain herd immunity from Covid-19 infections.

Source: Manila Bulletin (