More oil firms raised prices of petroleum products on Friday by 1 peso per liter for gasoline and P0.75 per liter for diesel.
Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. and Total (Philippines) Corp. said in separate advisories that they increased their prices at 6:00 a.m. Friday.
Total implemented a P1 per liter upward price adjustment for all its pump products.
Chevron, however, announced that it would roll back its diesel prices by P0.25 per liter due to competitive pressures.
Chevron earlier announced a P1 per liter increase across all pump products starting Friday.
Shell, meanwhile, defended the need to raise oil prices despite higher inventory levels.
“As has been observed in the market, when prices are increasing, which is what is happening now, even if refiners hold a longer term inventory of say, 45 days, if they continue to sell at lower prices till they use up their inventory, this may be seen to be undermining competition,” the company said.
Oil refiners and finished product importers have different inventory levels, with refiners having about 40 to 60 days of stocks, while product importers normally maintain about 7-14 days of stocks.
Shell said that when prices drop, oil importers will immediately reflect the current lower prices, “which refiners are forced to match in order to remain competitive.”
“For how will they make the public accept a delayed price reduction, just because they have stocks bought at high prices? How will the public know what inventory levels and days they should wait before prices are reduced? Will the oil companies not be accused of delaying price reduction to make more money?” Shell said.