Gasoline prices at petroleum pumps will increase by P0.65 per liter this week; while diesel and kerosene prices will marginally go up by P0.05 per liter, based on the pricing notices sent by the oil companies.

But for industry player Cleanfuel, the upward adjustment it implemented this week was just for gasoline at P0.65 per liter; while it has not enforced any movement on its diesel price.

MB file photo. (Mark Balmores)

As of this writing, the oil firms that already announced price adjustments effective Tuesday (April 6) had been Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, Cleanfuel, Total and Chevron; while competitors are expected to follow their pricing leads.

Prior to this adjustment, a monitoring report of the Department of Energy (DOE) showed that price swings since January incurred a net increase of P6.15 per liter for gasoline; P4.60 per liter for diesel; and P3.50 per liter for kerosene.

The major factors that affected price fluctuations in the international market last week had been the fast action on the ship blockage at Suez Canal in Egypt and the outcome of the meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its ally-producers last April 1, in which they decided to gradually curb production cuts starting next month.

Market watchers are also keeping a close eye on the lingering uncertainties over the escalating pace of Covid-19 infections, which primarily led to the announcement of one-month lockdown by France this April.

While many parts of the world are already on rollout of vaccines, there are still puzzles on when the market could finally stabilize given the snags in the inoculation programs of some countries.

In the Philippines, the country has also extended its enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or its most rigid lockdown measure in the capital and neighboring provinces; hence, there is high anticipation that domestic demand will be lackluster until mid-April.

Source: Manila Bulletin (