Domestic fuel prices to fall next week at steepest pace this year

Taipei, Nov. 25 (CNA) Due to a plunge in international crude oil prices amid rising concerns over a global supply glut, the two major gasoline and diesel suppliers in Taiwan announced Sunday that they will cut domestic fuel prices for next week by as much as NT$0.9 (US$0.029) per liter, the steepest cut so far this year.

State-owned refiner CPC Corp., Taiwan, said it will cut its diesel prices by NT$0.8 per liter and lower its gasoline prices by NT$0.9 per liter, effective midnight.

It is the sixth consecutive week in which CPC has cut its fuel prices at a time when the global energy market is under pressure.

After the latest price adjustments, prices at CPC pumps will fall to NT$24.9 per liter for super diesel, NT$26.9 per liter for 92 octane unleaded gasoline, NT$28.4 per liter for 95 octane unleaded and NT$30.4 per liter for 98 unleaded.

For its part, privately owned Formosa Petrochemical Corp, a rival of CPC, also announced Sunday that it will lower diesel prices by NT$0.8 per liter and cut gasoline prices by NT$0.9 per liter, with the changes will take effect at 1 a.m. Monday.

Due to the price adjustments, prices at Formosa Petrochemical's gas stations nationwide will fall to NT$24.6 per liter for super diesel, NT$26.9 per liter for 92 octane unleaded, NT$28.3 per liter for 95 unleaded and NT$30.4 per liter for 98 unleaded.

The latest price cut was steeper than the previous market forecast of a NT$0.7 drop per liter since international crude oil prices dipped to the lowest level for this year Friday, market analysts said.

Global crude oil prices continued to move lower this week as production by major oil countries rose sharply, with the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia, the three largest oil producers, pumping more oil into the global market, analysts said.

While Saudi Arabia is pushing the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut oil supplies by as much as 1.4 million barrels per day to curb the supply glut, fears over a weakening oil market still haunted energy traders, they said.

Worries over a global oversupply have been also raised by an increase in crude inventories in the U.S. market last week, the analysts said.

According to a report released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) earlier this week, crude oil inventories in the U.S. market rose by 4.9 million barrels to 446.91 million barrels last week, the highest level since December.

In addition, the EIA said U.S. crude oil production remains at a record high of 11.7 million barrels per day, which increased concerns over the global supply glut and pushed crude oil prices lower.

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.

Based on fluctuations in international crude oil prices, CPC calculated the average price of crude oil at US$62.96 per barrel as of Friday, down from US$66.76 from a week earlier, according to its website.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel