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28 March 2017

Competitive Petrol Prices Soon?

The first article


Today I was referred an article at Sinar Harian, "Perang Harga Minyak Bermula!".

Translated into English, it means, "The Oil Price Wars Begin!"

And in that article there is a tantalizing line: "...setiap stesen minyak akan berlumba-lumba menawarkan harga bahan api yang istimewa bagi menggoda pengguna untuk mengisi petrol atau diesel di stesen mereka."

Translated into English, it means, "... every petrol station will race to offer special prices for petrol to seduce consumers to fill in petrol or diesel at their station."

That seems to imply that different petrol stations will have different petrol prices!





Here is the original article.

HARI ini, satu sejarah baharu tercipta apabila kerajaan melaksanakan kaedah penetapan harga bahan api secara mingguan, bagi menggantikan mekanisme secara bulanan yang diguna pakai sebelum ini.

Mekanisme ini diperkatakan sejak awal bulan ini apabila Menteri Perdagangan Dalam Negeri, Koperasi dan Kepenggunaan (KPDNKK), Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin menyatakan sudah tiba masanya ia dilaksanakan demi kebaikan semua pihak.

Pengumuman penetapan harga petrol dan diesel secara mingguan itu ialah pada setiap hari Rabu dan harga akan berkuat kuasa pada jam 12.01 tengah malam pada hari berikutnya, iaitu Khamis.

Kaedah yang digunakan oleh kerajaan bagi menetapkan harga bahan api, bergantung kepada beberapa faktor seperti Mekanisme Penetapan Harga Minyak (APM), kadar pertukaran mata wang ringgit kepada dolar Amerika Syarikat (AS) serta kesan pembatalan subsidi petrol dan diesel oleh kerajaan.

Walau bagaimanapun, pelaksanaan kaedah ini menimbulkan kebimbangan daripada beberapa pihak yang melihat, mekanisme berkenaan akan menyebabkan stesen minyak yang mempunyai sumber kewangan kecil tidak mampu bersaing dengan stesen minyak yang memiliki sumber kewangan besar.

Ini kerana, apabila kaedah dikuatkuasakan, setiap stesen minyak akan berlumba-lumba menawarkan harga bahan api yang istimewa bagi menggoda pengguna untuk mengisi petrol atau diesel di stesen mereka.

Oleh demikian, perang harga sesama stesen minyak pasti berlaku dengan pengguna akan memilih stesen minyak yang menawarkan harga petrol dan diesel yang menarik bagi mereka.

Apa pun, kerajaan mungkin sudah mengambil kira beberapa pandangan daripada pelbagai pihak sebelum melaksanakan penetapan harga bahan api secara mingguan, dengan kaedah berkenaan mampu memberi kesan yang positif kepada majoriti rakyat.

Ikuti pandangan penganalisis ekonomi, persatuan pengguna dan persatuan pengusaha stesen minyak sendiri mengenai isu ini.

The second article

I had a look at another article, from Utusan Malaysia. And it seems that oil prices will not be determined by petrol station owners, but by government. This article: "Kerajaan umum harga petrol dan diesel secara mingguan berkuatkuasa 29 Mac ini"

The Minister for domestic trade, co-operatives and consumerism, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin, said: "Tindakan tegas akan diambil kepada syarikat minyak dan pengusaha stesen minyak yang menjual petrol dan diesel pada harga selain daripada ditetapkan kerajaan".

In English, that means: "Firm action will be taken against oil companies and petrol station operators who sell petrol and diesel at prices other than that determined by government."



So it seems that no, there won't be any "free float" of petrol prices. Most likely no.But it would be great if there was, though. I suppose the Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC) will have to have a look at it.

What the KPDNKK website says.

The Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-Operatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK) also carried an announcement on this.

In the announcement, it was stated: "Mana-mana syarikat atau pengusaha stesyen minyak yang ingin membuat promosi diskaun daripada harga yang ditetapkan boleh berbuat demikian dengan mendapatkan kebenaran KPDNKK. Tindakan tegas akan diambil ke atas mana-mana syarikat atau pengusaha stesyen yang menjual petrol atau diesel pada harga yang berbeza dari harga yang ditetapkan kerajaan."

Translated into English: "Any companies or petrol station operators that want to do a discount promotion from the fixed price can do so with the permission of KPDNKK. Strict action will be taken against any company or petrol station operator that sells petrol or diesel differently from the prices fixed by government."

How come the Utusan article didn't highlight this? I wonder.

Petrol Dealers are concerned

A news report in the Star, "Dealers concerned about petrol discounts", quotes the Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia president Datuk Khairul Annuar Abdul Aziz as saying:

"Even though KPDNKK has given oil companies and dealers the opportunity to do so with their permission, we will have to look at how viable the move is to the business".

The report further states: "The association, he (PDAM president) added, was only highlighting the difficulties faced by low-volume dealers, especially those in rural areas if discounts were in place, as they did not have the profit margins to offer such discounts."

Conclusion

It seems that there is some discount allowed on the petrol prices but only for promotion purposes and with the permission of the KPDNKK. I believe that KPDNKK will try to control the "promotion period" , otherwise some petrol stations will have "everyday promotion". 


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