SINGAPORE - Most petrol pump prices here have risen by three cents a litre to yet another record high in the latest fallout from the assassination of Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani by United States forces last week.
A litre of petrol at major fuel retailers here now costs $2.34 for 92-octane grade, $2.38 for 95-octane and $2.77 for 98. Diesel is $1.99 a litre. Caltex's 98 with Techron is $2.80, while Shell's V-Power is $2.94. All prices are before discounts.
Caltex raised its prices on Tuesday (Jan 7), while Shell raised its prices on Monday.
SPC was the only major player to resist the latest hike, with its prices remaining unchanged as of Tuesday afternoon.
Observers said that while the killing of Major-General Soleimani had made the market more volatile, crude prices had already been climbing before his death. Fuelled by a thaw in the US-China trade war and ongoing supply cuts from major oil producers, Brent crude ended 2019 at a four-month high of US$66 a barrel.
Brent has since risen further, ending at US$68.91 on Monday. The current volatility is also attributable to uncertainty over how Iran will respond to the killing. Many Iranian leaders have warned of reprisals.
But oil industry consultant Ong Eng Tong reckons oil prices will rise, as Iran is likely to retaliate, and that would in turn ignite US sanctions, which will drive oil prices higher.
The last time pump prices went up was just before Christmas, when rates moved up by three cents a litre. Compared with 18 months ago, pump prices have climbed seven cents.