Gasoline prices in Taiwan to fall to lowest in 17.5 years

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(CNA photo)

Taiwan's two major fuel suppliers announced cuts Sunday to their diesel and gasoline prices this week, dropping domestic gasoline prices to their lowest level since September 2002.

The state-run petroleum refiner, CPC Corp., Taiwan, will cut its retail gasoline prices by NT$0.8 (US$0.03) per liter, effective midnight Sunday, while CPC's main competitor, Formosa Petrochemical Corp. (FPCC), announced identical price cuts, which will take effect at 1 a.m. Monday.

After the adjustments, gasoline prices at CPC pumps will drop to NT$18.2 per liter for 92 octane unleaded, NT$19.7 per liter for 95 unleaded and NT$21.7 per liter for 98 unleaded.

The price for 92 octane unleaded was the lowest since Sept. 27, 2002 when it stood at NT$18.5 per liter, according to the company.

For super diesel, the retail price will be lowered to NT$15.4 per liter, CPC said.

The privately run FPCC said prices at its gas stations will be NT$18.2 per liter for 92 unleaded, NT$19.6 per liter for 95 unleaded, NT$21.7 per liter for 98 unleaded and NT$15.2 per liter for diesel.

CPC attributed the price cuts to an increase of output by the major oil producers of Russia and Saudi Arabia, as well as a bleak global economic outlook due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The year of 2002 saw slumps in crude oil prices globally due to recession in the aviation and transportation sectors in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York in 2001.

On Sept. 27, 2002, the CPC price for 92 unleaded came to NT$18.5 per liter and that for 95 unleaded was NT$19.6 per liter, while that for 98 unleaded stood at NT$20.9 per liter and that for super diesel reached NT$ 14.4 per liter.

CPC adjusts its fuel prices weekly based on changes in crude oil prices, using a weighted oil price formula composed of 70 percent Dubai crude and 30 percent Brent crude.