Upward Pressure on Petroleum Prices Seen Up to Early Next Year

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - Spikes in prices at the gas pumps may take its pinch on consumers' pockets throughout early part of next year as supply tightens versus demand.

This following the P0.75 per liter and P1.50 per liter increases diesel and gasoline prices, respectively, which the oil companies implemented starting Monday evening; and the P3.00 per kilogram rise in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices.

The Department of Energy (DoE) indicated that based on prognosis, the tightening supply in the Asian market as well as increased demand for heating of winter-stricken countries will incessantly exert pressure on prices in the coming weeks or months.

"Yes, the pressure is upward. There's some tightness in supply in the region -- that means demand is larger. Two countries, India and Indonesia have had significant drawdown of their inventories now, so results have had price adjustments in the international market," Energy Secretary Rene D. Almendras has noted.

The economic growths of Asian countries, notably China's double-digit economic upturn, are seen pulling in new round of "surprises" again in oil demand, although experts shot down scenarios that this may stage a repeat of the 2008 cycle when global prices reached the $147 per barrel peak price.

The escalating tension between the two Koreas, Almendras added, has also been compounding supply dilemmas at the Asian oil markets because there are many refineries in South Korea wherein some countries in the region have been depending on for supply. In fact, some oil companies in the Philippines have previously reported signing a deal with Korean refineries for their supply procurements. …