Oil prices down for 2nd week

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    Oil companies are rolling back prices for the second consecutive week   effective today, March 31, on the strengthening of the US dollar last week,  the new wave of coronavirus infections across Europe and the potential impact of crude cargoes backing up outside the blocked Suez Canal.

    According to the Department of Energy, the latest average Metro Manila price per liter of gasoline (RON95) is at P47.30, diesel at P40.55 and kerosene, P47.08.

    Shell and Seaoil cut their prices by P1.20 for gasoline, P1.30 for diesel and P1.40 for kerosene.

    Phoenix Petroleum, Unioil and Clean Fuel reduced  their prices by P1.20 for gasoline and P1.30 for diesel.

    As of March 23, 2021, year-to-date adjustments on fuel prices summed up to a net increase of P7.35 per liter for gasoline, P5.90 per liter for diesel and P4.90 per liter for kerosene.

    Reuters reported that as of Friday last week, brent crude settled at $64.57 a barrel while US West Texas Intermediate crude ended at $60.97 a barrel.

    The report cited that oil trade was volatile last week as traders weighed the potential impact of the Suez Canal blockage on fuel supply against the effect of pandemic-related lockdowns.

    Analysts said of the 39.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of total seaborne crude last year, 1.74 million bpd went through the Suez Canal while 1.54 million bpd of refined oil products or 9 percent of global supply are using the said passage.

    Outcome of the meeting of the  Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies this week on whether or not to maintain lower production is also expected to influence  prices.