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Fuel prices increased for 2nd consecutive week

2019/03/24 20:42:17

Taipei, March 24 (CNA) Taiwan's two major gasoline companies will increase their fuel prices for a second consecutive week beginning Monday because of the continuous rise in international crude oil prices.

State-run oil refiner CPC Corp., Taiwan said in a statement that it will increase the price of gasoline and diesel by NT$0.50 per liter and NT$0.10 per liter in the coming week, starting at midnight Sunday.

That means prices at CPC gas stations will be NT$27.30 (US$0.88) per liter for 92 octane unleaded gasoline, NT$28.80 per liter for 95 octane unleaded, and NT$30.80 per liter for 98 octane unleaded. Its super diesel will cost NT$26.00 per liter.

The average crude oil price on which CPC bases its weekly fuel price adjustments, calculated on a formula of 70 percent Dubai crude and 30 percent Brent crude, rose to US$67.57 per barrel this week, up US$0.63 from last week's US$66.94, the company said.

That would have justified an increase in gasoline prices by NT$1.2 per liter in the coming week.

But CPC limited the rise to NT$0.5 per liter because of a pricing guideline that sets the gasoline price ceiling at the lowest gas prices of four of Taiwan's major industrial competitors -- Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong or Singapore.

As a result of the policy, CPC may have to absorb a loss of NT$105 million this week.

Meanwhile, CPC's main competitor, Formosa Petrochemical Corp., announced identical changes of NT$0.50 per liter for gasoline and NT$0.10 per liter for diesel beginning at 1 a.m. Monday.

After the price adjustment, Formosa Petrochemical gas stations will charge NT$27.30 per liter for 92 octane unleaded, NT$28.70 per liter for 95 octane unleaded, and NT$30.80 per liter for 98 octane unleaded. Its diesel will be sold at NT$25.80 per liter.

Both companies explained that increases in international crude prices over the past week were caused by factors such as decreasing production by oil producing countries and decreases in U.S. crude inventories.

(By Liao Yu-yang, Pan Chih-yi and Emerson Lim)
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