Ministry to review CPC Corp’s fuel pricing mechanism

By Camaron KaO  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Feb 22, 2013 - Page 14

The Ministry of Economic Affairs on Wednesday said it would adjust its fuel pricing mechanism to better reflect costs of crude oil imports in an effort to ease the public’s concern about ever-increasing fuel prices.

Ninety-eight-octane unleaded gasoline rose to NT$38.4 a liter this week after state-run refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) increased its fuel prices for a fifth consecutive week.

“There is leeway to review the existing pricing mechanism,” Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) told Unique Broadcasting on Wednesday.

The new pricing mechanism is expected to be announced within two to three months, Chang said.

CPC adjusts its fuel prices on a weekly basis based on a pricing mechanism that uses global crude oil prices as a key reference.

The Bureau of Energy confirmed the potential adjustment of pricing mechanism.

The ministry plans to “hold a meeting with experts from outside the ministry and CPC to discuss the existing pricing mechanism,” an official at the Bureau of Energy told the Taipei Times by telephone on Wednesday. “The final decision is likely to be made by June.”

The ministry would look into whether CPC’s raw material costs still account for 80 percent of its total costs, which is the main reason behind the weekly adjustment of fuel prices, the official said.

Separately, Council for Economic Planning and Development Minister Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) said yesterday that the council was mulling providing a regular report on the impact of fuel and electricity price increases.