By Myrna Velasco
Consumers could expect financial relief this week as pump price of fuel are expected to drop by P1.60 per liter for gasoline products.
This is based on the initial calculation made by Laban ng Konsyumer, Inc. (LKI) President Victorio Dimagiba.
The oil companies have qualified that the calculation was reckoned from the outcome of four-day trading in the world market.
Diesel products are likewise expected to go down by P0.75 per liter and oil firms say that the last trading day in the world market may still alter the final cost reductions. “But for sure, there will be significant rollbacks in pump prices next week,” an industry source said.
Since benchmark Dubai crude spiked to US$67.55 per barrel on September 17, global oil prices subsequently treaded downtrend after that and sustained this week.
Dubai crude dropped to the level of US$63 per barrel as of Monday’s trading and had gone even lower to US$60 per barrel range as of end-trading on Wednesday, then climbed to US$61 per barrel on Thursday.
Softening of prices in the world market ensued after Saudi Aramco assured that it would be able to get back to its normal production route on or before the end of this month.
Other world oil producers likewise guaranteed they can readily pump in more oil into markets to prevent any threat of supply disruption. The United States, in particular, built up on its inventory as markets scoured for “quick fixes” in case of supply drop.
The drone attack on Saudi Aramco’s key oil facilities resulted in the surge in the pump price of gasoline to P2.35 per liter and P1.80 per liter in diesel prices in the Philippines Tuesday.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has called for the reactivation of the Oil Contingency Task Force (OCTF) while the Senate committee on energy propounded ‘oil diplomacy’ arrangement with a country-ally like Russia.
Consumer-groups had proposed the scrapping of the value-added tax (VAT) and excise taxes being levied on petroleum products so consumers could be freed of additional P10 to P12 per liter on their fuel budgets.
Even President Duterte ordered concerned agencies to look for other sources of oil to sustain the country’s stable energy supply.
But as the market settles, the “social edginess” is likewise anticipated to tone down especially when price cuts happen at the domestic pumps.