Oil companies are set to implement a rollback in pump prices by as much as P2 a liter based on initial estimates of industry players, even as the government announced that the rate of inflation had risen to 6.4 percent in the third quarter because of rising food and energy prices.
One company, Phoenix Petroleum, on Friday advised the public it would decrease its pump prices by P2 per liter of gasoline and by P0.90 per liter of diesel effective 6 am today (Oct. 20).
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One industry source told Manila Standard the oil price rollback, for the rest of the petroleum firms, would be P1.80 per liter of gasoline and P0.90 per liter of diesel.
These prices were still “very preliminary” and could still change after the final computation came in Friday night, the source added.
Other industry officials confirmed the rollback but estimated the price cut would be P1.40 per liter of gasoline.
“[The] rollback this week [was] caused by large inventory build-up of crude oil in the US, slower demand growth projection by the International Monetary Fund for 2019 due to trade war and reports of Saudi and Russia saying that they have spare capacity to cover Iranian products that will be removed by November when the US sanctions take effect,” the source said.
The Philippines imports more than 90 percent of its fuel requirements.
This is the second consecutive weekly oil price rollback after the oil companies implemented a price cut of P0.85 per liter for gasoline, P0.65 per liter for diesel and P0.20 per liter for kerosene effective Oct. 15.
World oil prices declined last week after the Energy Information Administration of the US released a report that US commercial crude oil stockpiles increased by 5.98 million barrels in the week ending Oct. 5 and total petroleum stockpiles in the country jumped 11.3 million barrels week on week.
Year-to-date total adjustments stand at a net increase of P10.55 per liter for gasoline, P11.50 per liter for diesel and P10.50 per liter for kerosene, according to the Department of Energy.
As of Oct. 15, gasoline sells from P52.70 to P66.50 per liter while diesel sells from P46.40 and P55.70 per liter.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, meanwhile, reported that inflation rose to 6.2 percent in the third quarter, with food inflation at 8.2 percent and non-food inflation at 4.1 percent in the quarter.
The third quarter figure, higher than the previous 4.8 percent in the second quarter, brought the year-to-date inflation average to five percent.
BSP Officer-in-Charge Maria Almasara Tuano-Amador said consumer prices rose at 6.7 percent in September.
The BSP also increased its benchmark borrowing rate for four straight policy meetings this year to address inflation, bringing it to 4.5 percent from the previous 3 percent.
It then increased its inflation outlook for this year to 5.2 percent and for 2019 to 4.3 percent.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo asked the public to tighten their belts.
“We are not currently in control of these times especially when the oil prices have increased, affecting markets globally. But [we hope] that will taper [off] because history shows that the price of oil also drops,” he added.
On Thursday, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board approved fare increases for public utility vehicles, adjusting the minimum jeepney fare in the Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and southern Luzon to P10 from the current P9 and raising bus fares as well.
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