A release from the Cook Islands Price Tribunal says the earliest possible effects in the local market from the recent fall in global fuel prices in July are likely to be seen in the Cook Islands in November.
Earlier this month the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) indicated that global oil prices were expected to remain between $45 to $60 US a barrel range until 2017.
“The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline in the US had fallen for 26 consecutive days in July 2015, the longest streak of consecutive decline experienced in the US since January this year,” said the release.
According to experts, market fundamentals point to prices moving lower in the near term and that oversupply continues to characterise the oil market. This will keep downward pressure on the price of crude.
However the Chinese economy continues to show signs of weakness, which increases concerns that this expected driver of global consumption may not be poised to help counter the market’s oversupply.
Changes to local fuel pricing arrangements introduced in July also indicated the earliest possible effect in the local market would be expected to occur in the November 2015 Price Order.
The November Price Order will reflect actual shipments discharged over the two month period of September and October 2015.
It may also be affected by individual deals by local companies with their suppliers.
As a reference point to global movements, the Price Tribunal has also started independent benchmarking of local fuel prices against global prices through a new theoretical price template developed by SPC.
The template takes into account global prices and supply costs to the Cook Islands.
The Price Tribunal said local prices for diesel are closest to the theoretical diesel benchmark price, indicating that they are competitive for the local market, while further improvements could be gained on local petrol prices.
Meanwhile, the Price Tribunal continues to monitor the situation closely.