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CPC lowers gas prices by NT$0.3 to a 13-month low

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- State-run CPC Co. (中油) yesterday announced that the per-liter price of gasoline and premium diesel will be reduced by NT$0.3, as the domestic fuel prices return to the lowest benchmark seen in 13 months, effective midnight today.

Following the change, per-liter fuel prices will be put at NT$32.5 for 92-octane gasoline, NT$34 for 95-octane gasoline, and NT$36 for 98-octane gasoline, with the price of premium diesel to fall to NT$31.3 at CPC gas stations.

Effective at 1 a.m. today, fuel at Formosa Petrochemical Co. gas stations will be set at NT$32.4 for 92-octane gasoline, NT$34 for 95-octane gasoline, and NT$36.2 for 98-octane gasoline, with premium diesel priced at NT$31.3 per liter.

CPC Co. explained that its floating oil price index, calculated as the sum of 70 percent Dubai Crude and 30 percent Brent Crude last week reached US$99.94 per barrel, down US$2.06 compared to the previous period's US$102. Concurrently, the New Taiwan dollar strengthened against the greenback by NT$0.011, deeming an adjustment of 1.64 percent necessary, the company said.

Meanwhile, the latest price reduction marks the fourth week of consecutive declines. With the average per-liter price of gasoline declining by NT$1 since May of last year, while the price of premium diesel fell by NT$1.1 during the same period. In addition, since June 30, gasoline prices have accumulated NT$2 in declines, with the figure reaching NT$2.2 for premium diesel.

Analysts attributed recent tumbles in international oil prices to receding demand as the summer peak consumption seasons conclude in the U.S., and instability in Ukraine and Libya.

CPC noted that beginning today, the Executive Yuan's NT$0.2 per-liter air pollution excise tax will be factored into the state run company's floating oil price index, and set to affect price movements by approximately NT$0.1 per liter.

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