Thursday, October 22

Diesel currently pricier than RON95 due to surge in MOPS benchmark prices, says Chong


A motorist holds a fuel pump at a service station. AFP File Photo

KUCHING: The price of RON95 petrol in the country is currently cheaper than diesel as the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) diesel price has increased to more than US$10 per barrel when compared to RON95.

Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Chong Chieng Jen said MOPS is a pricing basis for many refined products in Southeast Asia and refers to the average price reported by the price assessment agency Platts for a refined product in the Singapore trading hub.

“For most refined products, MOPS is the benchmark price for the Asia market. It is mainly determined by the international demand and supply for each different type of refined product like diesel, RON95, RON97 and so on.

“In the last few weeks, the MOPS diesel price has stayed very high as compared to the MOPS RON95 price. This is most probably due to the surge in global demand for diesel,” he said in a statement today.

Fuel prices in Malaysia are tied to MOPS prices for diesel and petrol.

Chong pointed out that in the past, the MOPS diesel price cost around US$2 to US$3 per barrel more than the MOPS RON95 price.

“However, the profit margin allowed to be charged by local petrol stations for the sale of diesel is much lower than the profit margin for the sale of RON95, thus resulting in diesel being cheaper than RON 95 at our petrol stations,” he explained.

He said with MOPS diesel prices increasing to more than US$10 per barrel in the last few weeks, petrol stations had no choice but to price diesel higher than RON95, despite the lower profit margin for diesel.

Vehicle owners who fill up with RON95 petrol are now enjoying cheaper prices for the first week of February as it is currently priced at RM1.93 per liter compared to RM1.98 per liter previously.

The price of diesel however, remains the same at RM2.18 per liter.