By Myrna Velasco
Motorists, primarily the public transport sector that rely heavily on diesel, will be benefitting from a P1.10 per liter rollback in the price of the petroleum product this week.
For gasoline, the price reduction will be at a leaner P0.50 per liter for this week’s cost adjustments, based on the advisory of the oil companies.
The prime mover of this fresh round of price rollbacks had been Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc., the oil company of flourishing business magnate Dennis Uy, which implemented the price rollbacks effective 2 p.m. on Saturday (August 10).
The price trends set by Phoenix Petroleum that will immediately be followed by Clean Fuel, which will have the rollbacks reflected on its pumps starting 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 11).
The rest of the industry players are anticipated to follow the dictates of market forces, with a majority expected to enforce price reductions consistent with their Tuesday routine – or by August 13.
The Department of Energy (DOE) indicated that there was a considerable downswing in prices in the world market; hence, that is now warranting the price declines at Philippine pumps.
The Dubai crude in particular, which is the pricing benchmark for Asian refiners, had softened to the level of $55 per barrel in recent trading days compared to the higher pitch of $59 to $60 per barrel in the past weeks.
Global market analysts have been noting the oil industry’s incessant plunge into the “bear territory” with no definitive green shoots of stable recovery yet despite commitment of oil producers to stick to the output quota that they had agreed upon.
Beyond the production freeze deal that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had reached with its Russian-led counterparts, the international oil market still deals with bigger blows such as the escalating trade war between the United States and China, and the relentless strike of geopolitical factors affecting supply-demand dynamics in the industry.
There are also worries of global economic slowdown that could then slump demand growth, hence, oil prices are seen plummeting further. And while that would be favorable for consumers’ pockets, this could strain investments in oil gas exploration and developments – which in the long term, could jolt a fresh round of crisis in the industry.
On last week’s softening of prices in the world market, it will be positive news for oil import-dependent market like the Philippines given the series of rollbacks that its consumers will have to enjoy in next week’s driving juncture.