Oil prices up as crude rises

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    After last week’s mixed movements, oil prices are up anew effective today, August 18, to reflect developments in global crude costs pushed by the higher fuel storage drawdown in the United States last week.

    According to the Department of Energy (DOE), the latest average Manila price per liter of gasoline (RON95) is at P48.90, diesel at P36.67 and kerosene at P37.70.

    Pilipinas Shell, Seaoil, PTT and Phoenix Petroleum adjusted the per liter prices of gasoline and diesel upward by P0.60 and diesel by P0.10 per liter, respectively.

    Meanwhile, no price movements were recorded for kerosene.

    As of August 11, year-to-date adjustments on fuel prices summed up to a net decrease of P4.77 per liter for gasoline, P8.79 per liter for diesel and P13.04 per liter for kerosene.

    Reuters reported as of Friday last week, Brent crude settled at $44.80 a barrel while the US West Texas Intermediate ended at $42.01 a barrel.

    The report said the increase in fuel prices was mainly driven by the Energy Information Administration’s data showing that American fuel demand during the first week of the month rose to 19.37 million barrels per day, the highest since March.

    However, global crude price increase was tempered by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) lower 2020 oil demand forecasts.

    IEA said that reduced air travel due to the pandemic would lower global oil consumption this year by 8.1 million barrels per day (bpd) while the OPEC expressed that world oil demand will fall by 9.06 million bpd this year, more deeply than the 8.95 million bpd decline expected a month ago.

    DOE Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said the agency deploys its teams to help enlighten local government units on the disparity of retail prices of fuel products in several areas pending the implementation of circular that will unbundle the price of petroleum products now on hold due to a temporary restraining order.