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Fuel prices in PH among highest in region

/ 05:09 AM November 12, 2018

Fuel prices in the Philippines are among the most expensive in Southeast Asia—but still well below global averages—amid a global downtrend that is expected to continue this week as supply exceeds demand.

Prices of both diesel and gasoline in the Philippines are fourth highest in nine Southeast Asian countries, according to GlobalPetrolPrices.com. There is no data for Brunei, which is an oil producer and where fuel is heavily subsidized.

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Data from the US-based company showed that as of Nov. 5, diesel pump prices averaged P46.43 per liter.

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), this has since gone down to P45.60 per liter in Metro Manila following the latest round of price cuts implemented on Nov. 6.

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Equivalent to $0.92 per liter, diesel in the Philippines was more expensive than those in 37 other countries across the world, including five other Southeast Asian countries.

Within the region, the price of diesel was lowest in Malaysia at $0.52 per liter and highest in Singapore at $1.2 per liter.

“For comparison, the average price of diesel in the world for this period is P77.41,” GlobalPetrolPrices.com said in its latest update on the Philippines.

Also, gasoline prices in the Philippines averaged P57.85 per liter (P56.60 in Metro Manila by Nov. 6).

This was equivalent to $1.11 per liter, more expensive than those in 42 other countries across the world, including five other Southeast Asian countries.

Within Southeast Asia, the price of gasoline was lowest in Malaysia at $0.53 per liter and highest in Singapore at $1.61 per liter.

GlobalPetrolPrices.com said the average price of gasoline in the world as of Nov. 5 was P85.38 per liter.

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Diesel and gasoline are cheapest in oil-producing Venezuela, where the products are practically free ($0.00 per liter for diesel and $0.01 per liter for gasoline). These are most expensive in Norway ($1.93 per liter of diesel) and Hong Kong ($2.15 per liter of gasoline).

Based on monitoring by the DOE, the international market, especially for gasoline, “remained in the doldrums, as bearishness prevailed—supply overhang, rising stock levels and lackluster demand globally.”

The DOE also said the Asian gasoline market came under renewed downward pressure from a bearish market sentiment as supply continued to outstrip demand.

Prices are also being affected by uncertainty on how the reimposition of US economic sanctions on Iran would impact crude oil supply.

“[R]eports suggested Turkey, India and China were pushing back on US calls for a total cessation of imports from Iran next week,” the DOE said. “Although most buyers of Iranian crude have found alternative supplies, it is unknown yet how committed they are to upholding compliance with the sanctions.”

Further, the DOE noted the United States would issue temporary sanction waivers allowing eight countries to keep importing Iranian oil.

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