The petrol price is likely to reduce further from the current RM2 per litre starting next month.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad does not rule out the possibility of cheaper petrol when the National Economic Action Council (NEAC) meets on Dec 1, as the crude oil price continues to slide down.
The NEAC meeting would decide on whether the fuel price would be fixed to a managed float system or whether a floor price or minimum price should be set.
This is also the first time that the retail price of RM2 per litre for petrol is higher than the commercial price of petrol, which is RM1.64, due to the crude oil price declining fast.
Replying to Dr Zulkifli Ahmad (PAS – Kuala Selangor), Shahrir said the retail price of RM2 per litre now was higher than the market price of RM1.64 per litre. However, the retail price would have to take into consideration other cost factors such as the refinery cost.
He said in restructuring the petrol price, the Government had also capped the ceiling price at RM2.70 per litre although the market price went up to RM3.30 per litre. In addition, the Government has also provided a cash rebate to motorists and also a subsidy of 30sen per litre for petrol.
Although the current price was higher than the market price, Shahrir said the retail price for petrol in the past three months was lower than the commercial price.
“In October, the retail price was RM2.15 while the commercial price was RM2.26. In September, the retail price was RM2.45 and the commercial price was RM2.77. In August, the retail price was RM2.55 and the commercial price was RM2.83,” he said.
Dr Zulkifli had said that when the crude oil price was US$70 per barrel, the gasoline produced would be RM1.64 per litre and now the crude oil price had even dropped to below USD$60 per barrel. He asked why petrol was still at RM2 per litre.
“A decision will be made at the NEAC meeting with regards to the price of petrol,” he said.
Shahrir also said at the moment, the price of petrol was adjusted according to the crude oil price based on a managed float system.
“We do not have a situation where we change the price every week and we also have to take into consideration petrol dealers and their stock,” he said.
Petrol dealers claim they lose money each time the price is adjusted downwards.
“They claim each time the price is reduced by 15sen, they lose 15sen. In my opinion, they only lose 3sen,” said Shahrir, adding that no compensation would be made to them.
The cash rebate for car owners and motorcyclists would continue until March next year, he said.