Oil prices up

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    After a brief price rollback last week, local oil players implemented an increase in the cost of petroleum products to reflect international market movements.

    The main driver in the year’s first upward adjustment is the market optimism brought by the expanding distribution of coronavirus vaccines which is expected to directly affect fuel demand and consumption.

    According to the Department of Energy, the latest average Manila price per liter of gasoline (RON 95) is at P44.45, diesel at P37 and kerosene at P40.41.

    Shell and Seaoil adjusted per liter prices upward by P0.45 of gasoline, P0.30 of diesel and P0.40 of kerosene.

    As of Dec. 24, 2020, year-to-date adjustments on fuel prices summed up to a net decrease of P1.97 per liter for gasoline, P5.96 per liter for diesel and P9.49 per liter for kerosene.

    Reuters reported that as of Thursday last week, brent settled at $51.80 a barrel while US West Texas intermediate ended at $48.52 a barrel.

    The report also cited that this week’s debate among members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia on plans to boost crude output from February would be the main driver if the price increase will be sustained. -J. Macapagal