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Domestic fuel prices to edge lower in the coming week

2018/08/12 17:02:26

Taipei, Aug. 12 (CNA) Taiwan's domestic gasoline and diesel prices will fall by NT$0.2 (US$0.007) and NT$0.1 per liter, respectively, next week after trade friction between China and the United States hurt the global oil market, Taiwan's two major suppliers said Sunday.

State-owned oil refiner CPC Corp. Taiwan said that after the adjustments, which will take effect at midnight Sunday, prices at CPC gas stations nationwide will be NT$28.6 per liter for 92 octane unleaded, NT$30.1 per liter for 95 unleaded and NT$32.1 per liter for 98 unleaded.

The price of super diesel will fall to NT$26.7 per liter.

Privately-operated Formosa Petrochemical announced identical price adjustments, which will take effect from 1 a.m. Monday.

Prices at Formosa Petrochemical gas stations islandwide will fall to NT$26.4 per liter for super diesel, NT$28.6 per liter for 92 octane unleaded, NT$30 per liter for 95 unleaded, and NT$32.1 per liter for 98 unleaded, the company said.

CPC Vice President Huang Jen-hung (黃仁弘) attributed the price drop to Russia's increasing oil output and the increasingly contentious trade dispute between Beijing and Washington.

The trade war has led to expectations of lower demand for crude oil, leading to lower global crude oil prices, Huang said.

Compared to the China-U.S. trade dispute, however, CPC is more concerned with the unstable political situation in the Strait of Hormuz, the waterway to the Persian Gulf through which around 30 percent of the world's oil supply passes, Huang said.

If political tensions in the region cause the waterway to be blocked, oil prices could soar suddenly, he said.

Iran has threatened to take military action to shut down the strait in response to Washington's economic sanctions, which could possibly be expanded to Iranian oil exports in November, according to foreign media reports.

CPC calculates its weekly fuel prices based on a weighted oil price formula made up of 70 percent Dubai crude and 30 percent Brent crude.

Under its floating pricing mechanism, the average crude oil price per barrel slid US$0.84 this past week from US$72.81 to US$71.97, according to data on the CPC website.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Elizabeth Hsu)