By John Liu, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Effective today, fuel prices will rise NT$0.1 per liter but the price of premium diesel will remain unchanged, state-owned oil refiner CPC Corp. (中油) and private competitor Formosa Petrochemical Corp. (FPC, 台塑) announced yesterday. After the adjustment, CPC will be selling its 92-grade unleaded gasoline for NT$33.6 a liter, 95-grade for NT$35.1 and 98-grade gasoline for NT$31.1. The price of super diesel will stay at NT$32.4 per liter. FPC will price its 92-grade unleaded gasoline at NT$33.5 a liter, 95-grade at NT$35.1, 98-grade gasoline at NT$37.3 and diesel at NT$32.4.

CPC said yesterday that factors contributing to the price hike and price drop appeared simultaneously. The Chinese government announced plans to cut down on excessive manufacturing capacity, causing speculation over lower crude oil demand. In addition, an increase in U.S. crude oil reserve also contributed a drop in international oil prices. On the other hand, the U.S.’ second-quarter performance improved over the first, and the manufacturing sector also gained momentum, causing global oil prices to rise. FPC added that conflicts in the Middle East and Northern Africa have affected oil supplies, causing the price to rise. This week’s 70-percent Dubai and 30-percent Brent crude index averaged US$105.99 per barrel, down US$0.04 from last week’s US$106.03, CPC indicated. But the local dollar depreciated against the greenback, causing domestic oil prices to rise 0.3 percent and resulted in the fuel price increase.