Mon, May 14, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Gasoline most expensive since 2014 as CPC and Formosa raise fuel prices

ABSORBING THE COST:Fuel prices were supposed to be higher, but a government mechanism that was activated on Friday reduced the burden on consumers

Staff writer, with CNA

State-owned oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) yesterday announced that its gasoline and diesel prices would increase by NT$0.6 per liter this week, pushing the price of 95-octane unleaded gasoline to its highest since November 2014.

Effective today, prices at CPC gas stations nationwide are to be NT$28.7 per liter for 92-octane unleaded, NT$30.2 per liter for 95-octane unleaded — its highest since Nov. 17, 2014 — NT$32.2 per liter for 98-octane unleaded and NT$26.7 per liter for super diesel, the company said.

Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化), the nation’s sole privately owned fuel refiner, announced a similar increase of NT$0.6 per liter for gasoline and diesel products, effective today.

Global oil prices have been rising due to several factors, including the likelihood that the US will reimpose economic sanctions on Iran after it withdrew from a nuclear agreement, tensions in the Middle East and a drop in the US crude oil inventory last week, CPC said.

CPC calculates its weekly fuel prices based on a weighted formula made up of 70 percent Dubai crude and 30 percent Brent crude.

Under the refiner’s floating pricing mechanism, the price of gasoline should be raised by NT$0.7 per liter and that of diesel should be raised by NT$0.8 per liter after the average price last week rose from US$71.49 to US$74.46 per barrel.

That would have brought the price of 95-octane unleaded gasoline to NT$30.3 per liter.

However, due to the government’s fuel price stabilization mechanism, which was introduced on Friday last week, CPC is to absorb 25 percent of the price surge to limit the hike to NT$0.6.

The system was implemented by the Ministry of Economic Affairs to reduce the financial burden on consumers by stabilizing fuel prices at a time when international crude oil prices have been on the rise.

It uses 95-octane unleaded gasoline as the benchmark for its price calculations.

Under the system, if the price of 95-octane unleaded stays below NT$30 per liter based on CPC’s weekly weighted oil price formula, domestic fuel prices would fluctuate normally.

However, if the price rises to between NT$32.5 and NT$34.9 per liter, CPC must shoulder half of the weekly increase and the public would bear the other half.

If the price rises to NT$35 per liter or higher, CPC and the government would jointly absorb 75 percent of the increase.

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