Taipei, June 24 (CNA) State-run oil company CPC Corp. Taiwan will lower its fuel prices this week for the 12th consecutive week since hiking prices by an average of about 10.7 percent in early April, the company announced Sunday.
The company's latest price cut of NT$0.4 (US$0.01) per liter for gasoline, to take effect Monday, will leave the price of 92-octane, 95-octane and 98-octane unleaded gasoline at NT$31.0, NT$32.5 and NT$34.5 a liter, respectively, CPC Corp. said in a statement.
The price of diesel will fall to NT$0.7 per liter to NT$29.6, falling below its price of NT$29.9 per liter prior to the April 2 price hike for the first time.
The latest downward adjustment was based on the continuing fall in international crude oil prices prompted by a global economic slowdown, the company said.
The crude oil price benchmark that CPC Corp. uses, a weighted average of 70 percent Dubai crude and 30 percent Brent crude, stood at US$92.72 per barrel for the week ending Friday, a decrease of US$3.92 from US$96.64 per barrel the previous week.
That is also 24.8 percent lower than CPC Corp.'s average crude price per barrel of US$123.25 for the week ending March 25, just one week before the major price increase took effect.
Fuel prices have not fallen by the same magnitude because the company has kept some of the savings to compensate itself for the costs it absorbed when it kept prices at the pump down as international crude prices rose 43 percent between December 2010 and March 2012, according to the company.
Under CPC Corp.'s new pricing mechanism, to take effect on July 2, however, it will pass on all savings from falls in international crude oil prices to motorists.
Meanwhile, the price of 92-octane, 95-octane and 98-octane unleaded gasoline sold by Taiwan's only privately owned gasoline provider Formosa Petrochemical Corp. will fall to NT$30.9, NT$32.5, and NT$34.7 per liter, and the price of diesel will drop to NT$29.6 per liter.
CPC increased gasoline prices by between NT$2.3 and NT$3.6 per liter, or about 7 to 11 percent, on April 2, the biggest one-time increase in domestic fuel prices since May 2008.
(By Chao Hsiao-hui, Lin Meng-ju and Hanna Liu)