Formosa Petrochemical raises fuel prices for next week

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Gasoline prices to rise after weekend.

Gasoline prices to rise after weekend. (By Central News Agency)

Taipei, April 14 (CNA) Private fuel supplier Formosa Petrochemical Corp. has decided to raise its domestic gasoline and diesel prices for next week after crude oil prices soared more than 8 percent this week amid tensions in the Middle East.

With military conflicts between the U.S.-led coalition and Syria on the rise, West Texas Intermediate jumped 8.6 percent this week in New York, the largest weekly percentage gain since July last year.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, soared 8.2 percent in London.

As a result, Formosa Petrochemical announced Saturday it will raise gasoline and diesel prices by NT$0.6 (US$0.021) per liter in the coming week, effective from 1 a.m. Monday.

After the price adjustment, prices at Formosa Petrochemical gas stations island wide will rise to NT$24.9 per liter for super diesel, NT$27.3 per liter for 92 octane unleaded, NT$28.7 per liter for 95 unleaded, and NT$30.8 per liter for 98 unleaded, the company said.

The hike followed a NT$0.1 cut per liter for both gasoline and diesel this week.

The company and its main competitor in Taiwan, state-run CPC Corp. Taiwan, adjust their fuel prices on a weekly basis based on the latest changes in crude oil prices.

Those crude prices received a jolt this week from tensions in the Middle East, which left traders jittery, and expectations that there will be an extension in a production cut agreement between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers, analysts said.

The current output cut accord will run through the end of 2018, and OPEC members are scheduled to meet in June to discuss the next move. OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said such cooperation could be extended beyond 2018.

CPC Corp. is likely to announce similar price adjustments at noon Sunday that will take effect 12 hours later.

CPC calculates its weekly fuel prices based on a weighted oil price formula made up of 70 percent Dubai crude and 30 percent Brent crude.

Based on the latest fluctuations in international crude oil prices, CPC's average price for crude oil was calculated at US$67.97 per barrel as of Thursday, up US$2.08 from a week earlier, according to its website. (By Han Ting-ting and Frances Huang)