Domestic fuel prices to rise for 5th consecutive week

CPC Corp. Taiwan (??) will increase its domestic fuel and diesel prices next week for the fifth consecutive week as international crude oil prices continue to rise, the state-owned fuel supplier said Sunday.

An agreement struck by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Nov. 30 to cut production pushed crude prices to a 17-month high this past week, leading CPC to hike its gasoline prices by NT$0.3 (US$0.009) per liter, effective midnight.

The latest price hike will send the price of CPC's benchmark 92 octane unleaded to nearly NT$25 per liter, after the company raised its gasoline and diesel prices by NT$1.0 per liter on Dec. 11.

CPC calculates its weekly fuel prices based on a weighted oil price formula that comprises 70 percent Dubai crude and 30 percent Brent crude.

The formula yielded an average weekly price of crude oil at US$52.86 per barrel this past week, up from NT$51.56 per barrel the previous week, triggering the price hike.

After the increase, fuel prices at CPC pumps nationwide will rise to NT$22.6 per liter for super diesel, NT$24.9 per liter for 92 octane unleaded, NT$26.4 per liter for 95 unleaded and NT$28.4 per liter for 98 unleaded in the coming week.

International crude oil prices moved higher earlier in the week amid eased fears over a supply glut after OPEC's output cut agreement, which aims to lower production by 1.2 million barrels a day starting in January 2017.

It was the first cut in production agreed to by the oil cartel since 2008.

Non-OPEC oil producers also agreed last week to follow suit and lower output by 558,000 barrels per day.

Though there has been some skepticism that OPEC members and non-OPEC countries will keep their promises to cut output, OPEC countries including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have notified customers of a supply cut starting in January.

On Saturday, Formosa Petrochemical Corp., a private competitor of CPC, announced a similar price hike, saying it was raising gasoline prices by NT$0.3 per liter and diesel prices by NT$0.4 per liter, effective 1 a.m. Monday.

Fuel prices at Formosa Petrochemical gas stations islandwide will go up to NT$22.3 per liter for super diesel, NT$24.8 per liter for 92 octane unleaded, NT$26.3 per liter for 95 unleaded and NT$28.6 per liter for 98 unleaded.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel