Big-time oil price hike set for January 15

MANILA, Philippines – Pump prices are set to spike on Tuesday, January 15, as oil-producing countries like Saudi Arabia cut their output to prevent oversupply.

Shell, Petron, Caltex, Flying V, Unioil, Seaoil, Total, PTT Philippines, Eastern Petroleum, Phoenix Petroleum, Petro Gazz, and Jetti said they will increase diesel prices by P2.30 per liter and gasoline by P1.40 per liter.

Kerosene prices will also go up by P2.

The oil firms will implement the price adjustments at 6 am on Tuesday, except for Caltex and Eastern Petroleum, which will implement theirs at 12:01 am.

Data from the Department of Energy (DOE) showed that gasoline prices range from P40.05 to P53.60 per liter, with a common price of P46.65. Meanwhile, diesel prices fall between P33.45 and P40.98, with a common price of P35.60.

Kerosene prices range from P38.42 to P48.50 per liter, with a common price of P45.07.

Oil companies said Tuesday's price hike is not yet the effect of the 2019 fuel excise tax hike, but is due to the movement of international crude prices.

According to the DOE, only around 10% of the 8,600 gas stations nationwide have implemented increases due to the second round of the tax hike, so far. Others are still using older fuel stocks.

The DOE previously warned fuel retailers that they can only impose the second round of the tax hike "on new inventories imported or produced from local refineries in 2019," not on their 2018 inventories.

Brent crude prices touched $60 per barrel last Friday, January 11, higher than last week's $57. –

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.