Although oil prices have declined over the past week, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday that domestic gasoline prices would remain unchanged in the wake of the ministry's decision last week to freeze the floating fuel price mechanism.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange was quoted at US$74.89 per barrel last Monday and dropped to US$72.06 per barrel on Monday.
Based on state-run CPC Corp, Taiwan's (CPC, 台灣中油) pricing formula, gasoline prices should have been cut by NT$0.6 per liter.
Prices may decline further this week on expectations that the demand for fuel in the US will soon weaken.
"We will hold gasoline prices steady until we come up with an improved version of [the pricing] mechanism which can better reflect costs and ease public concerns," Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-hsiang (
One guiding principle for the new measure, which is expected to be announced next Tuesday, is to make CPC's oil procurement transparent, Shih said.
Another basic principle would be to keep the rates the lowest in Asia, he said.
The ministry is holding a second meeting on the issue today.