Expert: Fixed fuel prices a boon
‘Without pegging, motorists would have had to pay up to 18 sen more’
GEORGE TOWN: Fuel prices would be 12 to 18 sen more than now if the Pakatan Harapan Government had not maintained the present prices, says an expert.
RON95 petrol this week was supposed to be RM2.386, RON97 RM2.59 and diesel RM2.363, said a financial expert, who asked to be identified only by his blogging nickname DataAnalyst.
“If you can predict the changes in fuel prices, you may be able to save enough for a few teh tarik every week.
“I’m trying to help you score that extra teh tarik here,” he told readers on his blog Petrol Station.
For two years, he has been providing the public with uncannily accurate predictions of what fuel prices might be before the previous government announced them.
“Although the crude oil price is available freely on a real-time basis, we can only guess the fuel prices for the following week as the previous government never announced the actual formula used to calculate the prices,” he said, adding that he deciphered the formula himself.
DataAnalyst said while his predictions were not always spot on, they never deviated beyond two sen.
He revealed that his formula could be simplified into three major variables: weekly refined oil prices multiplied by the weekly average ringgit-to-US-dollar conversion and added to the fixed cost, which hovers between 22 and 55 sen per litre (plus 20 sen per litre tax in the case of RON97, he added).
On the Thursday before Parliament was dissolved on April 7, fuel prices were fixed at the current prices: RM2.20 per litre for RON95, RM2.47 for RON 97 and RM2.18 for diesel.
DataAnalyst, however, had predicted that prices were supposed to start shooting upwards.
RON95, for example, was supposed to rise to at least RM2.27 as of April 5.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported yesterday that crude oil price was at its highest since November 2014, hovering now at above US$71 (RM281) a barrel, while Brent crude was upwards of US$79 (RM313).
In the days when prices at the pump were a sweet RM1.70 to RM1.80 here, crude oil prices were around US$45.
While Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced earlier that the Government was temporarily shielding the domestic scene from the surge in oil prices until it could reformulate fuel subsidies, the Finance Ministry announced yesterday that the current oil price was a shot in the arm for Malaysia.
“Oil prices have been higher than the US$52 (RM205) per barrel estimated for Budget 2018.
“This provides fiscal buffers for the immediate future,” the ministry said in a statement to rationalise the absence of government revenue from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) starting June 1, when all businesses must set the GST in their accounting system to 0%.
CNBC reported on Wednesday that the crude oil price was set to rise higher this year on account of falling output due to an economic and political crisis in Venezuela, renewed US sanctions on Iranian crude exports and wars in Yemen and Syria.