Published January 3, 2017, 12:05 AM by Myrna M. Velasco
It is not exactly a favorable development for motorists and Filipino households as the first week of 2017 ushers in the increase in the pump prices of gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) products.
Oil companies announced a P0.70 per liter increase in the price of gas and P0.60 for diesel. Kerosene which is used by households and as base for aviation fuel will, likewise, increase by P0.55 per liter.
Households will feel the pinch as industry players will increase the price of LPG this month between P4.15 to P4.18 per kilogram not P3.60 to P3.80 as earlier reported.
Biggest player Petron’s Gasul and Fiesta brands are up by P4.15 per kg or P45.65 for the standard 11-kilogram LPG cylinder. The same level of adjustments had been enforced by Liquigaz and Petronas, while Solane had a bigger increase of P4.18 per kg or P45.98 per tank.
The increase in the price of cooking gas is primarily attributed to higher per metric-ton contract costs in the international market.
Industry players said the increase in gas prices was to take effect at 12:01 a.m. or 6 a.m. today.
As of press time, the oil companies that already announced gas price increase include Flying V, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. The rest of the oil companies are expected to follow.
The whirling increase in prices of oil products is widely anticipated this month because of the recent decision of global oil producer-heavyweights to cut production quotas.
The expectation is for global prices climbing to $60 (about P2,980) per barrel following a move to trim production levels by at least 2.0-percent or an equivalent of 1.2 million per day.
Market watchers have some reservations though as some analysts are projecting that the price hike may just go as high as $56 (P2,780) per barrel on average for this whole year.
They noted the patchy record of some members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) of not completely honoring pacts on output cuts – and such may derail aspirations of completely stabilizing dramatically low global oil prices.
Brent crude which is highly regarded as the international commodity benchmark, wrestled way too hard to top the $50 (P2,484) per barrel price level this year after collapsing to as low as $28 (P1,391) per barrel a year ago.