Pump prices in S'pore fall for first time since April

Shell slashed its so-called premium petrol by 25 cents, in an apparent bid to shore up falling sales. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Fuel pump prices have dipped across several brands - the first time since April.

According to Fuel Kaki, a pump price tracker initiated by Consumers Association of Singapore, Caltex, Esso and Shell dropped posted prices mostly by two to four cents a litre on Friday (July 1).

Shell however, slashed its so-called premium petrol by 25 cents, in an apparent bid to shore up falling sales.

The two Chinese companies - Sinopec and SPC - have yet to adjust prices, but are expected to do so soon.

With the change, 92-octane petrol is now between $3.30 (Esso) and $3.34 (Caltex, SPC), while the popular 95-octane is between $3.35 (Esso) and $3.39 (Caltex, Shell, Sinopec).

The 98-octane grade, which is necessary for a minority of cars here, is between $3.82 (Esso) and $3.88 (Shell), while its premium variant ranges from $3.88 (Shell) to $4.05 (Caltex).

Diesel is now between $3.14 (Esso) and $3.17 (Caltex, Shell).

The latest adjustment makes Esso the brand with the least expensive fuels, and Caltex the costliest.

After discount, the least costly petrol among operators with a sizeable station network is Esso's 92-octane at $2.71 a litre (with DBS Esso card), followed closely by its 95-octane at $2.75 (DBS Esso card).

Sinopec's 95-octane is lower at $2.66 (OCBC cards), but it has only three stations.

For 98-octane petrol, the cheapest is Sinopec at $3.03 a litre (OCBC cards), followed by Esso's $3.13 (DBS Esso card).

Brent crude closed on the Nasdaq on Thursday at below US$115 a barrel, from above US$123 earlier in the month. The benchmark oil however was trading as low as US$110 before recovering late last week.

RBOB Gasoline, a proxy for refined petrol, traded at US$3.54 a gallon in early trade on Friday, from US$4.28 earlier in the month.

Prices of oil and refined products have been on the uptrend since world economies started reopening early this year after more than 24 months of Covid-19 restrictions.

Producers that had scaled down operations during the pandemic had difficulty scaling them up to meet the surge in demand. 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February worsened the situation as the two are also oil producers, and Western trade sanctions on Moscow added fuel to the fire. 

But now, energy demand may start to wane with a global recession looming, sparking a softening of prices.

Even so, oil companies have been reporting a surge in profits.

According to reports compiled by news outfit USAToday in May, Shell trebled its first-quarter earnings to US$9.1 billion (S$12.7 billion), while BP posted a first-quarter profit of US$6.2 billion - its highest in over a decade.

Exxon (marketing the Esso brand of fuels) more than doubled its earnings in the first three months of the year to US$5.48 billion, and Chevron (marketing the Caltex brand of fuels) posted first-quarter earnings of US$6.26 billion - more than four times what it made at the same time last year.

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