KUALA LUMPUR, May 25, 2015:

After the pleasant surprise of fuel pump prices remaining in May – marking a three-month stable pricing period since March this year – a 15 sen per litre increase is likely to be announced on Sunday.

The higher fuel prices will reflect the increase in global crude oil prices that has risen from mid-April and stayed steady over the past month, coupled with fluctuations in the ringgit value against the US dollar.

Calculated guesses by several pundits is that RON95 petrol price should rise to RM2.10 per litre from RM1.95 now – representing a return to the level seen for around a month in September last year as the government fuel subsidy tapered off amid a sharp fall in global crude oil prices. The fuel subsidy was scrapped as of Dec 1 last year.

With the market price managed float pricing regime in place now, diesel too is likely to see a 15 sen increase to RM2.10 per litre and RON97 may go to RM2.40 or even RM2.50.

The actual fuel pump pricing will be announced by the government on Sunday and should the ringgit value rise this week against the US dollar, given its yo-yo movements over the past few weeks, chances are that the fuel price hike may be only 10 sen per litre rather than the projected 15 sen.

While the government has yet to release details of its monthly pricing formula, the uptrend is clear as the benchmark Brent crude is now trending at around US$66 per barrel compared to the average of US$55 in March when the last fuel price adjustment took place.

February prices were the lowest as Brent crude had then averaged around US$45 per barrel.

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