Petrol pump prices rise to highest in almost 12 months

Petrol and diesel prices have gone back to their levels seen just before Singapore's circuit breaker to control the spread of Covid-19 kicked in last year. Pump prices fell to their lowest levels in several years during the two-month period. ST PHOTO
Petrol and diesel prices have gone back to their levels seen just before Singapore's circuit breaker to control the spread of Covid-19 kicked in last year. Pump prices fell to their lowest levels in several years during the two-month period. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Petrol pump prices have gone up to what they were before the circuit breaker, hitting their highest in almost a year.

A litre of the most popular 95-octane petrol is now retailing at $2.19 at all stations except SPC, which charges $2.15, according to fuel price tracker Fuel Kaki, an initiative of the Consumers Association of Singapore.

The 92-octane grade is retailing at $2.15 - except at SPC where it is going for $2.11 - while the 98-octane grade is retailing at between $2.53 (at SPC) and $2.61 (at Shell).

The so-called premium 98-octane grade is retailing at between $2.75 (at Caltex) and $2.83 (at Shell).

The price of diesel is now $1.84 a litre, except at SPC where it is $1.81.

The prices, all before discount, are at levels just before Singapore's circuit breaker to control the spread of Covid-19 started last year. The pandemic resulted in a crash in global oil prices.

During the circuit breaker which lasted from April to early June, pump prices fell to their lowest levels in several years, with the 92-and 95-octane grades slipping below $2 a litre.

But pump prices started creeping up as the Singapore economy reopened post-circuit breaker.

Oil and refined products have since rebounded strongly too.

According to Bloomberg, Brent crude traded last Friday at US$59.34 a barrel, up from US$19.33 last April.

RBOB gasoline, a publicly traded commodity and a proxy for the wholesale petrol price, was US$1.65 a gallon last Friday, up from as low as 41 US cents last March.

Pump price increases usually get many motorists hot under the collar, but car owner Leslie Chang said they do not affect him as he no longer needs to fill up.

The 57-year-old watch dealer said he charges his two Hyundai electric cars at his office, and his average monthly power bill is $230.

"The amount includes office utilities such as air-conditioner and lights," Mr Chang said, noting that he would have spent that same amount on each petrol-powered car previously.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 09, 2021, with the headline 'Petrol pump prices rise to highest in almost 12 months'. Subscribe