Oil price drop during pandemic a win for Philippines – NEDA chief

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino consumers stand to benefit from the nosedive of oil prices in the world market, Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua said on Tuesday, April 21.

Oil prices in the world market have traded in negative levels for the first time in history, falling by over 300% to -$37.63 a barrel on Monday, April 20, due to oversupply amid the coronavirus pandemic. (READ: How can oil prices be negative?)

Simply put, there is so much oil in the global market right now, storage facilities are reaching maximum capacity and companies will have to pay other companies to take it off their hands.

The glut may be initially viewed as a win for consumers, but on a bigger scale, it is an indication that economic activity has drastically slowed down due to the pandemic.

However, Chua noted that the Philippines is not an exporter of oil.

"So definitely we'll not suffer. We are an importer. Definitely we will benefit from this lower price," Chua said.

"We are definitely a net beneficiary of this," he added.

Even before oil prices hit negative, local companies had been implementing price rollbacks for weeks.

According to the Department of Energy, year-to-date adjustments as of April 14 stand at a net decrease of P14.52 per liter for gasoline, P13.94 for diesel, and P19.15 for kerosene.

Gasoline prices hover around P30 to P44 per liter, while diesel and kerosene range from P26 to P35 and P28 to P31, respectively. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.