Premier Frank Hsieh (
"We will try to maintain current price levels as long as possible," Hsieh said. "But, I also admit there is pressure to raise gasoline prices because of the ridiculous price of crude oil."
Hsieh made the remarks yesterday morning, when asked whether domestic gasoline prices would be raised again, after being increased on Aug. 2.
The premier said he would do his best to stabilize prices but acknowledged that an increase was possible.
"But at this time, I have not received any requests from the Ministry of Economic Affairs regarding a potential increase in domestic gas prices," the premier said.
"Gasoline prices shall be decided by the market mechanism. But the volume of oil in reserve, the actual volume of daily consumption, and many other factors must also be considered," he said.
Regarding the recent surge in oil prices, Hsieh said that high gas prices will become a global problem. He also urged the public to help save energy.
"We will try our best to reduce the impact of the high gas prices," he said.
Minister of Economic Affairs Ho Mei-yueh (
"CPC will see NT$20 billion in losses if oil prices stay at US$70 per barrel through the end of the year, which would wipe out all of the company's earnings this year," Ho said. "Although CPC shoulders a responsibility regarding Taiwan's consumer prices, it still needs to maintain operations."
Crude oil for October delivery rose as much as US$0.76 to US$67.96 a barrel in New York yesterday.
CPC and private competitor Formosa Petrochemical Corp (
Roy Chiu (
A public relations official at Formosa Petrochemical said the company will leave rates unchanged for now.