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CPC hikes household LPG price by NT$2.5 per kilo in September

The China Post news staff--The CPC Corp., Taiwan, the state-run oil company, announced yesterday that sales price of household-use liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) will be hiked by NT$2.5 per kilogram in September, effective today, with the price of natural gas to remain unchanged throughout the month.

Based on the price hike, each tank of household-use LPG, weighing 20 kilograms, will see its price surge by NT$50 in September, CPC said.

Meanwhile, the CPC also announced increasing the sales prices of industrial-use LPG, butane and propane also by NT$2.5 per kilogram, as well as hiking the price of vehicle-use LPG by NT$1.3 per liter.

CPC officials said the above price hike is designed to reflect part of the increased LPG cost.

The officials explained that the international LPG contract price for September surged by 22.58 percent or US$175 per metric ton from the August level, as a result of the tight supply of the international LPG market, the relatively low LPG inventory recorded by Japan as of the end of July and strong demand for LPG in the North Asian region.

If based on the existing floating pricing mechanism, CPC officials said, the sales price of household LPG should be raised by NT$5 per kilogram. But in order to comply with the governmental policy of stabilizing domestic commodity prices and to ease the financial burden on households, the CPC has decided to halve the price hike at NT$2.5 per kilogram.

In the first eight months of the year, CPC's import cost of LPG has remained high, averaging at US$18.95 per cubic meter (1,000 liters), but the average sales price reached only US$17.54.

On another front, the CPC has decided to keep the price of natural gas unchanged in September although it could boost the price to reflect the significant increase of 19.98 percent in the cost of natural gas based on the floating pricing formula. CPC officials said that the move is designed to go in line with the government policy of stabilizing domestic commodity prices.

In the past eight months of the year, the CPC raised natural gas prices by 2.99 percent each in February, March, July and August, while still failing to cover the increased import cost, CPC officials said.

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