Pump prices fall to pre-GST hike levels, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Pump prices fall to pre-GST hike levels

Petrol and diesel pump prices have slipped back down to levels seen before the latest Goods & Services Tax (GST) hike on Jan 1 despite rising global oil prices.

The benchmark Brent crude last traded at US$86.56 a barrel, its highest since mid-November. Oil prices are seen to be on an uptrend this year because of higher demand from China, which has all but lifted Covid-19 restrictions.

But ironically, China is also seen as exporting more refined products, which can depress the wholesale prices of diesel and petrol here. According to market research firm S&P Global, the Chinese government has raised the export quota for its first batch of refined oil products for 2023 by 46 per cent.

According to Fuel Kaki, a pump price tracker set up by the Consumers Association of Singapore, pump operators Caltex, Shell and SPC lowered posted pump rates just before the Chinese New Year weekend, with cuts of between three and five cents a litre.

The adjustments have brought the prices of these brands more in line with pre-discount rates posted by the two remaining operators - Esso and Sinopec.

Diesel is now $2.63 a litre at Sinopec and $2.64 elsewhere. For petrols, the 92-octane grade is now $2.65 a litre at Caltex, Esso and SPC - the only brands offering the grade. The popular 95-octane grade is $2.69 at SPC and $2.70 elsewhere.

The 98-octane fuel is $3.22 a litre at Shell and $3.17 elsewhere; and the so-called premium 98-octane grade is $3.39 at Caltex, $3.44 at Shell and $3.30 at Sinopec.

Price differences are greater after discount. For 92-octane petrol, prices range from $2.17 a litre (Caltex, OCBC 365 card and Esso, DBS Esso card) to $2.28 (Esso, Citibank Cash Back card and other OCBC cards). For the 95 grade, prices range from $2.12 at Sinopec (OCBC cards) to $2.32 a litre at Esso and Shell (various cards).

For 98-octane fuel, discounted rates range from $2.49 at Sinopec (OCBC cards) to $2.77 at Shell (various cards).

Pump operators raised prices almost immediately after the GST rate was increased by one percentage point to 8 per cent on Jan 1. With the latest revision, pump prices are now back to their lowest since January 2022.