Sat, Jun 13, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Local refiners announce hike in gasoline cost

By Kevin Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

State-run CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) said yesterday it would hike its wholesale gasoline price by NT$0.3 per liter and diesel prices by NT$0.2 per liter, effective today.

The latest price adjustment marks the state-run company’s sixth straight week of price hikes for domestic fuel consumption amid rising global crude oil prices, with the wholesale price of 98-octane unleaded gasoline reaching NT$29.5 next week, its highest price in seven months.

In Asian trading yesterday, crude oil prices moved in a range around US$72 a barrel. Global oil prices reached a record US$147.27 a barrel on July 11 last year, but have since dropped to as low as US$32.4 on Dec. 19, the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) tallies showed.

“It is reasonable to see oil prices trade at between US$60 and US$70 a barrel,” Lee Chih-tsuen (李志村), chairman of Formosa Sumco Technology Corp (台勝科), told reporters yesterday on the sidelines of the local silicon wafer supplier’s annual shareholders meeting.

Formosa Sumco is a unit under Taiwanese industrial conglomerate Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團), which also controls the nation’s only private refiner, Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化).

“The rise [in oil prices] seems to have come too quickly as the economy is still weak,” local cable TV station USTV quoted Lee as saying, hinting that rising oil prices at this time could weaken the strength of economic recovery.

Taiwan is expected to see a year-on-year decline of 4.25 percent in economic activity this year, after the export-dependent economy contracted by a record 10.24 percent in the first quarter, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said on May 21.

The state refiner yesterday announced price hikes in the wholesale prices of alcohol-gasoline blends for motor vehicles by NT$0.3 per liter, also taking effect today.

CPC’s weekly price adjustment was made using the company’s floating price mechanism, which showed an increase of 4.5 percent in the company’s cost for oil purchases in the week from May 29 to June 4, following a rise of 10.4 percent in the previous week, the statement said.

Hours after CPC’s price announcement, Formosa Petrochemical said it would match its bigger rival’s weekly price hikes for next week, also effective today.

Under the latest price hike, CPC’s wholesale price of 95-octane unleaded gasoline will be NT$27.3 per liter and 92-octane unleaded gasoline will cost NT$28 per liter. The price of alcohol-gasoline blends will be NT$28 per liter, while those of regular and premium diesel will increase to NT$24.16, it said.

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