Diesel prices expected to rise, gasoline prices may stay steady

Diesel prices in Taiwan are likely to move slightly higher next week but gasoline prices should remain unchanged as international crude prices moved within a narrow range this past week, market sources said Friday.

State-owned CPC Corp. Taiwan (??) is likely to raise its diesel prices by NT$0.1 (US$0.003) per liter but keep gasoline prices steady next week.

This past week, CPC hiked its domestic gasoline and diesel prices by NT$0.4 per liter after international crude prices rose amid optimism over a production cut agreement by oil producers.

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

Most recently, CPC calculated the price per barrel of crude oil at US$54.46 as of Jan. 5, up from US$54.06 the previous week, according to its website.

There were factors pushing international crude oil prices in both directions this week.

They hit an 18-month high on Tuesday, the first trading day of 2017, when the deal reached by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil exporters to cut production by about 1.8 million barrels per day began, the sources said.

But those gains were offset by a report released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration that said gasoline stocks in the U.S. market posted a surprise increase in the week to Dec. 30.

According to the EIA report, gasoline stocks rose 8.3 million barrels during the week, beating an earlier estimate of a rise of 1.8 million barrels.

In addition, distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose 10.1 million barrels, which also went beyond the previous expectations of a 1.1 million-barrel increase.

If CPC adjusts its prices next week as expected, prices at the pump will rise to NT$23.1 per liter for super diesel, while prices will stay unchanged at NT$25.3 per liter for 92 octane unleaded gasoline, NT$26.8 per liter for 95 octane unleaded, and NT$28.8 per liter for 98 unleaded, according to the sources.

CPC is scheduled to announce its price adjustments at noon Sunday and put them into effect at midnight.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel