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Diesel, kerosene prices rise for 11th straight week

Diesel, kerosene prices rise for 11th straight week

By Sheldeen Joy Talavera, Reporter

FUEL RETAILERS are implementing hefty pump price hikes today (Sept. 19), extending the streak of increases in diesel and kerosene to 11 straight weeks and gasoline for a 10th week in a row.

In separate advisories, oil companies said prices would jump by P2 per liter of gasoline, P2.50 per liter of diesel, and P2 per liter of kerosene.

Caltex, Inc. implemented price adjustments at 12 a.m. today, followed by Shell Pilipinas Corp. at 6 a.m., and Clean Fuel at 4:01 p.m.

From the second week of July to the third week of September, pump prices have gone up by P11.85 per liter for gasoline, P17.30 per liter for diesel, and P15.94 per liter for kerosene.

Department of Energy (DoE) Oil Industry Management Bureau Assistant Director Rodela I. Romero said that the oil price hike reflected developments in the international market.

“These are attributed to the tighter supply outlook due to Saudi and Russia’s voluntary production cuts, Libya’s supply disruption due to hurricane and OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) optimistic demand outlook and global oil inventory decline,” she said in a Viber message.

OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, have cut oil production by more than one million barrels a day since the start of July to limit supplies and drive prices higher.

Saudi Arabia and Russia have also extended voluntary production cuts until the end of the 2023.

“DoE ensures that whatever is the movement in the domestic pump prices is just reflective of the international oil market,” Ms. Romero said.

Michael L. Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., said in a Viber message that the latest spike in oil prices could lead to an uptick in September inflation.

“The series of fuel price hikes for more than 10 weeks already and a relatively bigger increase in diesel prices at more than P2 per liter for the latest week would lead to pick up in inflation for September 2023,” he said.

“Higher local fuel pump prices could lead to some pickup in the prices of affected goods and services in the economy, on top of the effects of higher local rice prices and higher vegetable prices after storm damage since the latter part of July 2023,” he added.

Headline inflation rose for the first time in seven months to 5.3% in August, faster than 4.7% seen in July, but slower than 6.3% recorded a year earlier.

This was mainly driven by the increases in food and fuel prices. In particular, transport inflation rose to 0.2% in August from the decrease of 4.7% in July.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez in a statement said that he suggested to oil companies that they look for ways to cut their profit margins to reduce fuel prices.

“If you are part of the solution, Congress will be very appreciative and supportive of you. But if you are part of the problem, we might have to undertake measures that would be unpalatable to you,” he said.

SAGIP Party-list Rep. Rodante D. Marcoleta also proposed to review the Oil Deregulation Law due to the lack of transparency in the pricing scheme of oil industry players.

#Diesel #kerosene #prices #rise #11th #straight #week

Cargill’s C-Joy says production to gradually rise in next 2 to 3 years

POULTRY grower Cargill-Joy Poultry Meats Production, Inc. (C-Joy) is aiming to increase its annual production in the next two to three years to bolster its operations, according to its country head.

“We have plans to increase the 50 million annual capacity, although I cannot divulge [the figure] right now. But we have a plan,” said Mija Darlene Cachapero, who was recently appointed as C-Joy’s new country director.

“We will increase it gradually in the next two to three years,” she said in an interview on Wednesday.

C-Joy is a joint venture between Cargill Philippines, Inc. and listed food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC). Its poultry processing facility in Sto. Tomas, Batangas province has a production capacity of 50 million birds yearly. The plant produces raw and marinated chicken products for JFC brands such as Jollibee, Chowking, and Mang Inasal.

According to Ms. Cachapero, the planned production increase is in line with the industry’s projected growth, which is pegged at 4-5%.

“By growing these birds, we are able to turn them into chicken products that are fed to Filipino tables. We are basically an integrator,” she added. 

Meanwhile, Ms. Cachapero said that there are no plans yet for C-Joy to establish another facility in addition to its Batangas plant.

She also disclosed that C-Joy has no plans to employ more workers. C-Joy currently employs over 1,200 workers.

“We don’t have plans yet to expand our facility. Although we have toll partners where we are able to expand our capacity without having to stand up our own facility,” Ms. Cachapero said.

Cargill Philippines is the local unit of the American food company Cargill, which is engaged in agriculture, animal nutrition, bio-industrial, starches and sweeteners, and texturizers and emulsifiers. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

#Cargills #CJoy #production #gradually #rise #years

Hotel occupancy to rise ahead of holidays, says tourism group

Hotel occupancy to rise ahead of holidays, says tourism group

By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave, Reporter

THE occupancy rates in hotels are expected to surge as consumer spending increases ahead of the holiday season, according to a local industry association.   

“We’re very confident about the fourth quarter… People love to spend during Christmas. Even if they don’t have all the money in the world to spend, they will definitely stay in a hotel even for one night,” said Loleth G. So, president of the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) for the Philippines, in a press conference on Thursday.

“Last year, we did 82% average occupancy. We’re confident that we will even be better this year because the country is now open,” she added.   

Ms. So, also Megaworld Hotels and Resorts area director of sales and marketing, said the current hotel occupancy rate has improved compared with pre-pandemic levels.   

She added that domestic tourists account for 80% of hotel occupants, while foreigners make up the remaining 20%.   

“Pre-pandemic, occupancy was running at about 65% to 75%. Right now, our average occupancy year to date, we are already running at 72-78% occupancy. The good thing is, as compared to 2019, average rate is higher. The higher the average occupancy, the higher the revenues,” Ms. So said.   

“Because the average [hotel] rate is about 8-10% higher, automatically the impact of that revenue-wise is far larger,” she added.   

For 2023, the Tourism department is aiming to log 4.8 million international arrivals, higher than the 2.65 million foreign visitor arrivals last year.    

Ms. So said the length of stay in hotels has been prolonged, signaling the recovery of the industry.   

“The length of stay from January to March was one to two days. Now, it has actually increased to 3.2 to 3.5 days. It is now longer,” Ms. So said.    

In the same event, HSMA announced that it will have its first Hospital Summit on Oct. 12 at the Manila Marriott Hotel in Pasay City. The event will be open to HSMA members and nonmembers.   

The summit will feature topics such as recovery in the hospitality industry, developing globally competitive Filipino hoteliers, and consumer behavior and brand management in the digital age.

“We look forward to hosting this exciting summit to equip our sales and marketing leaders with the skills required to manage the demands of our constantly changing [hotel] industry,” Ms. So said.   

“As we continue on our road to recovery, it is through these kinds of events that we can gain critical insights to improve our travel, tourism, and hospitality as a whole and make it more competitive,” she added.   

HSMA, established in 1979, is an organization representing hotel sales and marketing leaders.

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Sugar regulator sees rise in production assuming mild El Niño

Sugar regulator sees rise in production assuming mild El Niño

SUGAR production in 2023 is expected to rise slightly, on the assumption that the impact of El Niño isn’t too severe, the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) said.

At an agriculture forum organized by the European Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, SRA Administrator Pablo Luis S. Azcona said sugar production could increase by 50 thousand metric tons (MT).

Mr. Azcona added that the total area planted to sugarcane is estimated to rise by at least 3,000 hectares.

“We have a slight increase in area despite the fact that (output fell) in Batangas because of the closure of the mill,” he said.

In the last crop year, sugar production declined to about 1.8 million MT from the 2.1 million MT previously, due to a number of typhoons affecting cane production, he said.

“For the initial balance of inventory for this crop year, locally produced sugar posted a 450% increase (from a year earlier), he added.

To date, the stock of domestic sugar is at 150 thousand MT, against 27 thousand MT a year earlier.

“With the harvest season having begun, we will see an increase in raw sugar stock,” he said.

The sugar crop season typically begins in September.

A severe El Niño, however, could result in a 10% to 15% decline in output.

“(It) all depends on the El Niño’s severity.” Mr. Azcona said, with the worst of the weather phenomenon, which can cause dry spells, expected to manifest starting around November.

The government weather service expects El Niño to strengthen towards late 2021, persisting until the first quarter of 2024.

“If it’s not so severe, we might even see an increase (because of the timing of) harvest season. Drier weather results in more bags of sugar per ton of sugarcane,” he added. — Adrian H. Halili

#Sugar #regulator #sees #rise #production #assuming #mild #Niño

Philippine shares rise further on increased buying

Philippine shares rise further on increased buying

PHILIPPINE SHARES continued to climb on Wednesday amid increased buying and as the market awaits the release of US data that could affect the next move of the US Federal Reserve.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose by 16.69 points or 0.26% to end at 6,241.69 on Wednesday, while the broader all shares index went up by 8.11 points or 0.24% to close at 3,368.25.

“Investors are slowly buying into the market as we see buying pressure at this level. It’s not that significant yet due to the low value turnover as compared to months before,” Mercantile Securities Corp. Head Trader Jeff Radley C. See said.

Value turnover went up to P3.84 billion on Wednesday with 459.94 million shares changing hands from the P3.41 billion with 437.48 million issues seen on Tuesday.

“Philippine shares still managed to eke out modest gains despite rising oil prices after Saudi Arabia and Russia extended their voluntary supply cuts… On Wednesday, investors await the release of the Beige book, as well as economic data releases on the US trade deficit and services industry,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

Saudi Arabia and Russia on Tuesday said they would extend voluntary oil cuts to the end of the year, despite a rally in the oil market and analyst expectations of tight supply in the fourth quarter, Reuters reported.

Oil prices rose sharply following the news, with Brent rising above $90 a barrel for the first time since November, despite steady increases in Iranian and Venezuelan oil exports as the market believes the United States is not enforcing sanctions as stringently as in previous years.

The Saudi and Russian voluntary cuts are on top of the April cut agreed by several OPEC+ (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies) producers, which extends to the end of 2024.

Mr. See added that the market is monitoring Metro Pacific Investments Corp.’s (MPIC) delisting plans.

Most sectoral indices went up on Wednesday. Holding firms rose by 42.83 points or 0.71% to 6,027.28; services gained 6.29 points or 0.41% to end at 1,517.51; industrials went up by 15.02 points or 0.17% to 8,834.67; and financials climbed by 1.17 points or 0.06% to 1,820.

Meanwhile, mining and oil fell by 109.85 points or 1.07% to 10,136.06 and property declined by 8.52 points or 0.33% to 2,572.49.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 95 to 91, while 40 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling declined to P663.89 million on Wednesday from P669.21 million on Tuesday.

MPIC is one of the three key Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific, the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority share in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — SJT with Reuters

#Philippine #shares #rise #increased #buying

Shares rise on dovish Fed bets ahead of CPI data

PHILIPPINE STOCKS went up on Monday, tracking US shares’ rise, on bets that the US Federal Reserve is done hiking rates and as investors await the release of August Philippine inflation data.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went up by 33.62 points or 0.54% to close at 6,214.68 on Monday, while the broader all shares index rose by 14.47 points or 0.43% to end at 3,356.44.

“This increase was attributed to positive cues from Wall Street last Friday, where higher unemployment rates provided investors with optimism that the Federal Reserve might consider pausing its monetary tightening measures in response to the data,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Analyst Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

US stock indexes settled for a mixed close after a US jobs report showed an uptick in unemployment, cementing expectations that the Fed will let interest rates stand at its September meeting, Reuters reported.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 115.80 points or 0.33% to 34,837.71; the S&P 500 gained 8.11 points or 0.18% to 4,515.77; and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 3.15 points or 0.02% to 14,031.81.

The Labor department’s payrolls report showed the US economy added more jobs than expected last month, but the rising unemployment and participation rates, along with a welcome cool-down in average hourly wage growth, solidified expectations that the Fed will let key interest rates stand this month.

“Philippine shares were bought up ahead of the local CPI (consumer price index) [on Tuesday], and as others started taking positions with the week ahead,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

A BusinessWorld poll of 18 analysts yielded a median estimate of 4.9% for August headline inflation, near the lower end of the central bank’s 4.8% to 5.6% forecast for the month.

If realized, this would be faster than the 4.7% print in July, but lower than the 6.3% seen in August 2022.

It would mark the 17th straight month of inflation exceeding the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ 2-4% target for the year.

Sectoral indices rose on Monday except for financials, which dropped by 3.07 points or 0.16% to 1,833.81.

Meanwhile, property rose by 37.70 points or 1.46% to 2,604.86; mining and oil went up by 136.43 points or 1.36% to 10,132.72; holding firms increased by 41.86 points or 0.71% to 5,910.55; services gained 4 points or 0.26% to end at 1,507.30; and industrials climbed by 23.13 points or 0.26% to 8,759.89.

Value turnover went down to P11.32 billion on Monday with 2.30 million shares changing hands from the P11.51 billion with 2.11 million issues seen on Friday.

Advancers outnumbered decliners, 94 to 82, while 42 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling went down to P1.20 billion on Monday from P5.69 billion on Friday. — SJT with Reuters

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