WORLD OIL PRICES (March 16-20, 2015 trading days)
Crude prices were generally down over the whole week as China and other Asian countries reportedly slowed-down from their crude purchases. The news surfaced after US crude benchmark-WTI fell last Wednesday to a new six-year low of about US$43/bbl, following the release of weekly U.S. oil inventory report. The U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that the country’s crude inventory increased by 9.6 million barrels in the week ending March 20, higher than analysts’ forecast. It was the 10th week in a row the volume of U.S.-held crude has increased.
China was said to have been aggressively adding to its strategic oil reserves for the past eight months, peaking in December when its purchases hit a record 7.2 million barrels per day. However, the world’s second-largest oil consumer recently paused from oil buildup as its available storage tanks are nearly topped off.
Indian and Japanese refineries are likewise slowing imports as part of their annual facility maintenance, which temporarily curbs some refinery activity. That slowdown is expected to peak in April and May, according to reports by the New York-based PIRA Energy Group.
On Platts news about petroleum products market in Asia, it noted that gasoline find support on firmer gasoline cracks in the US and Europe, as well as demand for reformate from China, where supplies were said to have tightened. High demand for reformate from China has seen higher octane spot cargoes, which fetch hefty premiums of as much as $28/barrel over Brent.
Overall, Dubai crude price decreased week-on-week by about US$3.70/bbl. MOPS gasoline and diesel also decreased by around US$4.60 and US$3.70 per barrel, respectively.
FOREX: Peso per US dollar rate depreciated by P0.33 to P44.61, from P44.28 in previous week.
Other recommended reference sites: (1) http://www.aip.com.au/pricing (2) http://www.med.govt.nz/ers/oil_pet/prices/prices.html
DOMESTIC OIL PRICES
Effective today, 24 March 2015, most of the oil companies rolled back their prices by P1.10/liter for gasoline, P0.95/liter to P1.00/liter for diesel, and P0.90/liter for kerosene.
The total net increase for gasoline is now down at P0.27 while the total net decrease for diesel has grown to P1.62.
As monitored, shown below are the retail prices in Metro Manila beginning 24 March 2015..
|LPG, P/11-kg cylinders
* RON 95
For more information, call the