Petrol pump prices fall close to lowest level since Jan amid deepening fear of global recession

Pump prices across all brands have fallen by 6-8 cents a litre from last week. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Petrol prices are continuing their downward trend, falling by six cents across all brands to settle at close to their lowest levels since January.

While the price of diesel has also fallen by eight cents a litre, it has remained relatively firm when compared with rates seen earlier this year.

Four out of five mainstream operators here have reduced pump prices since last week, with the latest round of cuts posted on Tuesday being the biggest in recent memory.

Caltex was the last to adjust its rates at 5.09pm on Wednesday, according to Fuel Kaki, a pump price tracker set up by the Consumers Association of Singapore.

The price cuts came on the back of softer oil and wholesale prices.

The benchmark Brent crude fell to US$76.10 a barrel last week – its lowest since mid-2020 – before recovering to US$80.35 in early trade on Wednesday.

The raw material was more than US$120 a barrel in March.

According to a CNBC report last week, a deeper-than-expected global recession, including a delayed Chinese recovery on the back of an unexpected surge in Covid-19 cases, could lead to a significant collapse in oil demand.

Likewise, RBOB Gasoline, a proxy for wholesale petrol, hit US$2.16 a gallon in early trade on Wednesday, one of its lowest levels since June.

Diesel, however, has remained relatively buoyant because of lower stockpiles and winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

With the pump price cuts in Singapore, diesel is now $2.61 at Sinopec and $2.62 elsewhere, while 92-octane petrol is $2.63 at Esso, SPC and Caltex – the three companies offering this grade of fuel.

The popular 95-octane petrol is $2.67 at SPC and $2.68 a litre elsewhere, while 98-octane is $3.15 at Esso, Sinopec and SPC, and $3.17 at Shell. The so-called premium 98-octane grade is between $3.28 (Sinopec) and $3.39 (Shell).

After discounts, the cheapest 92-octane fuel is $2.16 a litre at Esso (DBS Esso card) and Caltex (OCBC 365 card), while the cheapest 95-octane is $2.10 a litre at Sinopec (OCBC cards).

The drop in pump prices is not isolated to Singapore. The New York Times reported last week that petrol prices in the United States were at their lowest in just over a year.

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