OIL COMPANIES are raising the prices of petroleum products this week to reflect the movements in the international fuel market. Per liter prices of gasoline, diesel and kerosene will rise by P1.05, P0.75, and P0.60, respectively, starting at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 16. The Department of Energy (DoE) said the adjustment in this week’s prices come after Friday’s “involuntary supply cuts from Venezuela and Iran plus conflict in Libya supported perceptions of a tightening crude market, while upbeat Chinese economic data eased concerns about waning crude demand.” On the demand side, the DoE said Chinese data showed exports rebounded last month, driving US and euro zone bond yields to three-week highs and helping offset weaker imports and reports of another cut in German growth forecasts. But it said demand for oil “has been breaking records despite talk of a slowing economy,” citing Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group. “Chinese export data overnight seems to confirm that China’s economy might be stabilizing after weak data around the Chinese New Year holiday.” — Victor V. Saulon