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Eastern Petroleum sees fuel prices turning higher

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PHILSTAR

THE CHAIRMAN of Eastern Petroleum Corp. has warned that prices of petroleum products are set to rise this week after several weeks of reductions.

In a statement on Sunday, Fernando L. Martinez, chairman and chief executive officer of Eastern Petroleum, said recent developments could have “positive” and “calming” effects in the world oil market.

In the near term, however, the company said oil prices “are poised to make moderate increase this Tuesday to reflect the slight reversal in international price.” This is after several weeks of price cuts totaling P2.40 per liter for diesel and P2.90 per liter for gasoline.

“Despite earlier expectations of sustained price cuts due to OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) boosting their production, and with Saudi Arabia and Russia agreeing to add production, recent political turbulence in Libya and Venezuela , and the recent oil export ban on Iranian oil production coupled with low inventory in US resulted in this price reversal,” the company said.

Mr. Martinez, who is also chairman of the Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association (IPPCA), said the favorable response of both Saudi Arabia and Russia to increase production could have positive and calming sentiments in the international petroleum market.

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He also cited the possible warming relationship between the US and Russia with the upcoming summit of US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin as adding to the positive sentiments.

Last week, oil companies rolled back the prices of petroleum products, with gasoline having the biggest cut at P1.15 per liter. Diesel prices were down by P0.90 per liter while kerosene by P0.85 per liter.

On Sunday, oil companies that sell liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) increased the price of the cooking gas by P0.90 per kilogram.

They also increased the price of LPG for cars by P0.05 per liter. The price hikes reflected the international LPG contract prices for the month of July. — Victor V. Saulon

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