In separate advisories, oil firms announced that gasoline prices would be increased by P0.10 per liter while diesel would be rolled back by P0.10 and kerosene by P0.35 per liter.
Prices of diesel down, gasoline up
Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - March 5, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Oil companies are reducing diesel prices while raising gasoline prices today.

In separate advisories, oil firms announced that gasoline prices would be increased by P0.10 per liter while diesel would be rolled back by P0.10 and kerosene by P0.35 per liter.

This is the fourth consecutive week that gasoline prices are increased.

Eastern Petroleum Corp., Petro Gazz, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. and Total Philippines Corp. said they would implement the adjustments starting 6 a.m.

Other oil companies have yet to announce their respective price adjustments as of last night.

At a briefing yesterday, Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said weak factory activity from China and Japan dampened demand for oil and dragged on global prices.

Meanwhile, the United States has injected more supply into the market with higher production, according to Fuentebella.

During the last trading week, oil prices started with their largest daily percentage drop this year after US President Donald Trump blamed the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for too high prices, which drove a selloff in the market, Reuters reported.

By midweek, global oil prices edged higher, as OPEC ignored the comments of Trump and US crude inventories fell.

Oil prices, however, eased at the closing of the trading week as the US-China trade talks continued to drag while concerns over global demand overtook OPEC-led production cuts.

Last week, local oil firms raised gasoline and diesel prices by P1.45 per liter and kerosene by P1.35 per liter.

In a related development, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian has urged the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Biofuels Board (NBB) to thoroughly study the proposal of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to increase coconut content in biodiesel from two percent to five percent, particularly its impact on the pump price of diesel.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol meanwhile said he would be pushing for the increase of biofuel content in diesel from B2 to B5 to absorb oversupply in the copra industry.

B2 biodiesel is a blend of two percent agricultural products and 98 percent clean diesel, while B5 biodiesel is a blend of five percent agricultural products and 95 percent clean diesel.

Gatchalian, chair of the Senate committee on energy and co-chair of the Joint Congressional Biofuels Oversight Committee, said the NBB, an advisory body to the DOE, should study whether an increase to a five-percent blend is warranted and whether the local production of feedstock is sufficient to meet present and future demands.

“The DOE and NBB should weigh the impact of increasing the biofuel content from B2 to B5, especially with the recent implementation of the new round of increases in the excise tax on fuel in January. After all, the law requires the recommendation of the NBB before the DOE decides to increase the blend,” he said.

For its part, the DOE will first have to see the proposal of the DA before making any decision on the higher biofuel blend in diesel.

“We have to look and coordinate with DA first,” Fuentebella said.

A study by the Senate committee on energy estimated that increasing the biofuel content in diesel from B2 to B5 may result in a 7.5-percent increase – equivalent to P2.86 – in the pump price of biodiesel.

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