Mon, Feb 09, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Fuel prices rise, refiners diverge

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Motorists line up to fill their tanks at a gas station in Taipei yesterday, ahead of gasoline and diesel price hike announcements.

Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

State-run oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) yesterday said it would raise gasoline and diesel prices by NT$1.9 per liter and NT$2 per liter respectively starting today, pushing prices to the highest levels since last month.

This is also CPC’s largest weekly price increase since March 2012, when the refiner hiked its price for 95-octane unleaded gasoline by NT$3.1 per liter.

CPC said global crude oil prices have jumped nearly 18 percent in the past week — the biggest weekly increase since 2009 — driven by the declining number of active US oil rigs and natural gas drilling rigs, as well as international oil refiners cutting their capital expenditures for this year.

The news that several shale oil refiners might withdraw from the market also boosted oil prices last week, CPC said.

The company said that according to its weighted oil pricing formula, oil prices rose to US$53.24 per barrel last week, up 17.57 percent from US$45.28 per barrel the previous week.

After taking the New Taiwan dollar’s depreciation of NT$0.149 against the US dollar into account, CPC said it plans to raise gasoline and diesel prices by 14.51 percent to reflect increasing costs, with prices of NT$27.5 per liter for 98-octane unleaded gasoline, NT$25.5 per liter for 95-octane unleaded gasoline and NT$24 per liter for 92-octane unleaded gasoline, while premium diesel is to rise to NT$21.9 per liter.

Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化), the nation’s only private oil refiner, said it would also raise prices on both gasoline and diesel products, beginning today.

Formosa Petrochemical said it would raise wholesale prices for 98 and 95-octane unleaded gasoline by NT$1.9 per liter and the wholesale price for 92-octane unleaded gasoline by NT$1.6 per liter.

The price of premium diesel is to increase by NT$1.7 per liter, the company said.

This is the first time Formosa Petrochemical has not matched its bigger rival’s price adjustments.

Company spokesman Lin Keh-yen (林克彥) was quoted by Chinese-language Apple Daily as saying that the firm thinks it is time to return to a market economy by calculating oil prices on its own instead of following its peer’s price adjustments.

After the adjustments, Formosa’s 98-octane unleaded gasoline product per liter will be NT$27.7, NT$0.2 more expensive than CPC’s equivalent product for this week.

The rest of the products are cheaper than CPC’s, according to the company’s data.

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