LPG prices up as oil surges

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — Local petroleum companies increased the prices of cooking gas products Thursday because of a surge in the world contract price for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

In a related development, world crude oil prices on Thursday increased to a record high of more than $96 a barrel, which raises the specter of another round of price increases for diesel and gasoline.

In separate statements, Pilipinas Shell, Petron Corp. and Totalgaz announced late Wednesday evening that they will increase the prices of their LPG products by P1.50 for every kilogram the following day.

A continued climb in the world prices of crude oil can possibly result in the increase of the pump prices of diesel and gas during the coming weeks, Pilipinas Shell was quoted as saying on the TV network ABS-CBN.

Shell and Total implemented their price hikes effective 6 a.m. Thursday followed by Petron at 12:01 a.m. on the same day. The increase will redound to a P16.50 increase in the companies’ 11-kilogram LPG cylinders.

Besides this, Total announced that it will also increase the price of their autoLPG, or LPG for vehicles, by P2.30 a liter effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

Earlier, small petroleum companies composed of the LPG Marketers Association likewise increased the price of their LPG products.

The group announced on Wednesday that it implemented a P5 for every kilogram hike in their cooking gas products and P2.50 a liter increase in their LPG for vehicles. The increase in the marketer’s association cooking gas products will reflect a P55 jump in the price of their 11-kilogram LPG tanks.

The oil companies all pinned the increase in cooking gas prices to an increase in the world contract price for LPG, which jumped from an average of $574 for every metric ton in September to about $657 for every metric ton in October, its highest in years.

As compared with the same period last year, LPG’s world contract price only averaged at $483.50 for every metric ton.

Data from the Department of Energy showed that the more than $80 for every metric ton increase recorded is the highest increase in the international price of LPG since for the year.

The surge in contract prices for LPG has been blamed on the increasing demand worldwide as countries entering the winter season stock up fuel inventories for heating.