Diesel prices to rise, gasoline prices to stay unchanged next week

2019/02/10 14:45:46 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 10 (CNA) After a freeze of fuel price increases for two weeks, state-owned oil refiner CPC Corp., Taiwan, said Sunday it has decided to raise diesel prices but will leave gasoline prices unchanged for next week in reflection of international crude price movements during the two-week period.

CPC announced Sunday noon that it will raise diesel prices by NT$0.5 (US$0.016) next week, which is expected to take effect 12 hours later.

After the adjustments, fuel prices at its gas stations nationwide will stay at NT$26.4 per liter for 92 octane unleaded, NT$27.9 per liter for 95 unleaded, NT$29.9 per liter for 98 unleaded but will rise to NT$24.7 per liter for super diesel.

According to CPC, it had previously planned also to raise gasoline prices by NT$0.5 per liter for next week, but to maintain domestic gasoline prices at the lowest levels compared with other neighboring markets in the region, that hike plan was shelved.

CPC has partially frozen its weekly fuel adjustment mechanism for two weeks before the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday that ends Sunday. During the two-week period, fuel prices would only move lower in case of lower crude oil prices but would stay unchanged even if crude oil prices rise.

This week, international crude oil prices came under pressure with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for March delivery down by 4.6 percent and Brent crude, the global benchmark, for March delivery down by 1.1 percent.

The fall in international crude oil prices this week largely reflected concerns over the pace of global economic growth after disappointing economic data in the United States, the largest economy in the world, with factory orders for November dropping 0.6 percent from the previous month, market analysts said.

In addition, the U.S. oil rig count rose by seven this week, bringing the total count to 854, which also dampened sentiment toward the energy market, analysts said.

However, political turmoil in Venezuela and a move by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers to cut production offset the impact resulting from worries over the global economic growth and a supply glut.

CPC calculates its weekly fuel prices based on a weighted oil price formula made up of 70 percent Dubai crude and 30 percent Brent crude. Based on that formula, the average oil price rose to US$62.19 per barrel as of Friday, up from US$61.26 recorded Jan. 25.

CPC's main competitor, privately owned Formosa Petrochemical Corp., also announced that it will raise diesel prices by NT$0.5 per liter but leave gasoline prices unchanged, effective from 1 a.m. Monday.

After the adjustments, prices at Formosa Petrochemical gas stations nationwide will be NT$24.5 per liter for super diesel, NT$26.4 per liter for 92 octane unleaded, NT$27.8 per liter for 95 unleaded, NT$29.9 per liter for 98 unleaded, the company said.

(By Tsai Peng-min and Frances Huang)

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