KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21:
With the global benchmark Brent crude oil price now averaging US$48 (RM173) per barrel, down from around US$60 a month ago, Malaysians can look forward to a likely 21 sen cut in fuel pump prices come Feb 1.
The cut in fuel pump prices is less compared to the over 30 sen per litre on Jan 1 because Brent prices had dropped from about US$78 to US$60 in the previous month – a US$18 difference – compared to just US$12 this month.
The lower fuel pump price as of Feb 1 looks likely to remain for a while as global crude oil prices seem to have stabilised around the US$48 level, even though many had earlier predicted further falls to US$30 per barrel.
But while key producer Iran yesterday hinted prices could drop to US$25 a barrel without supportive OPEC action, after the International Monetary Fund cut its 2015 global economic forecast, trading in benchmark Brent crude oil has kept it around the US$48 level in recent days.
There had been earlier fears that the government might opt to keep fuel pump prices at the current level and impose a floating fuel tax so as to avoid the Feb 1 reduction.
But such a measure wasn’t part of the Budget 2015 revisions announced yesterday. Still it would be good if the government is to unveil the formula applied for the managed float market pricing, as had been promised late last year.