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Persian Gulf tension drives up Taiwan fuel prices

2019/05/19 16:02:09

CNA file photo

Taipei, May 19 (CNA) Taiwan's two major fuel suppliers on Sunday announced hikes in both gasoline and diesel prices for the coming week as tension continues to rise in the Persian Gulf amid a rift between the United States and Iran.

Effective midnight Sunday, CPC Corp., Taiwan will raise gasoline prices by NT$0.30 per liter and diesel prices by NT$0.40 per liter, the state-run oil refiner announced.

With the adjustments, retail prices at its gas stations will be NT$28.90 (US$0.92) per liter for 92 octane unleaded, NT$30.40 for 95 octane unleaded, NT$32.40 for 98 octane unleaded, and NT$27.00 for super diesel.

The hikes will push domestic gasoline prices to their highest levels this year since March.

Tension caused by attacks on four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates last week and the U.S.-China trade war led to a rise in international crude prices, the CPC said in a statement.

The price of crude went up to US$71.79 per barrel last week, US$1.77 higher than a week ago based on a weighted oil price formula composed of 70 percent Dubai crude and 30 percent Brent crude.

Complying with guidelines that cap fuel prices at no higher than the lowest price in the markets of Taiwan's main industrial competitors in the region -- Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore -- and a stabilizing mechanism for whenever oil prices break the NT$30.00 level, the CPC has to absorb NT$0.2 per liter on its gasoline and diesel prices, the CPC said.

Meanwhile, privately-owned Formosa Petrochemical Corp. (FPCC), CPC's main competitor, announced identical price adjustments for its fuel products, effective from 1 a.m. Monday.

Prices at FPCC gas stations will be NT$28.90 per liter for 92 octane unleaded, NT$30.30 for 95 octane unleaded, NT$32.40 for 98 octane unleaded and NT$26.80 for diesel.

(By Tsai Peng-min and Emerson Lim)
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