Fuel prices up anew

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    Fuel prices are up for the fourth consecutive week on lower US crude last month.

    According to the Department of Energy, the latest average Manila price per liter of gasoline (RON95) is at P43.95, diesel at P34.15 and kerosene at P45.81.

    Shell and Seaoil adjusted per liter prices upward by P1 of gasoline, P0.85 of diesel and P0.70 of kerosene.

    PTT increased gasoline by P1 per liter and diesel by P0.85 per liter.

    As of Feb. 23, 2021, year-to-date adjustments on fuel prices summed up to a net increase of P5.20 per liter for gasoline, P4.85 per liter for diesel and P4.35 per liter for kerosene.

    A report of the US Energy Information Administration showed American crude oil output dropped by 58,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 11.063 million bpd in December.

    Reuters reported that as of Thursday last week, Brent futures for April delivery settled at $66.88 a barrel while US West Texas Intermediate crude ended at $63.53, its highest close since May 2019.

    In a poll, analysts see oil prices experiencing a steady recovery this year as vaccines reach more people that could prompt an economic revival.

    More stimulus from the government and continued disciplined output production of top crude producers will also buoy optimism.

    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russia is set to have a meeting this week to discuss a possible easing of oil supply curbs from April due to the current recovery in prices.

    Analysts warned recent improvements in oil prices could also encourage American producers to return to their usual production.

    The assurance from the US Federal Reserve that interest rates would stay low for a while is expected to help crude prices for a steady rise. – Jed Macapagal