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This section outlines official Press and Media Statements issued by the Ministry of Information and Communications in addition to Press Releases from the Prime Minister's Office and other Government Ministries and Departments.

New Petroleum Prices for September – October 2017

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19th September, 2017 The Ministry of Commerce, Consumer, Trade, Innovation & Labour wishes to advise that the Tonga Competent Authority (TCA) has approved the new petroleum prices for September – October 2017 to be effective from Saturday, 16th September 2017.

Wholesale kerosene and diesel will increase by 4.85 seniti/litre and 3.42 seniti/litre respectively, while petrol prices recorded the largest increase, up by 8.66 seniti/litre. For retail prices, Kerosene and Diesel increase with 3.66 seniti/litre and 5.20 seniti/litre respectively, while petrol increase with 9.21 seniti/litre. All price changes include consumption tax.

Crude oil prices maintained an upward trend during August supported by strong demand from Asia Pacific and with US inventories continuing to fall from high levels earlier this year. Dated Brent averaged USD 51.64/bbl which was USD 3.08/bbl higher than July.

Continued discipline from OPEC and some non-OPEC countries holding on to their production restraint agreement is keeping supply steady despite solid demand growth. As a result, prompt prices are higher, encouraging companies to reduce stocks. This is one of the aims of the production restraint agreement although as stocks were at a very high level historically, any upside in the price is expected to be limited. Most forecasters are expecting crude prices to remain in the USD50-55/bbl range for the balance of this year.

Prices for petroleum products have increased, particularly in the US recently due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey in the US Gulf coast. Diesel and kerosene prices have risen in line with crude while petrol prices have risen more strongly with solid demand coupled with some refinery disruption. This has been exacerbated recently due to a shortage of products in the US because of Hurricane Harvey (flooded and damaged refineries). A rare opportunity to export petrol from Asia to the US is supporting refining margins which are now at their highest level since early 2016. Comparing the August month average prices with July:

  • Crude oil (Dated Brent) was up USD 3.08/bbl (6.3%)
  • Diesel was up USD 2.45/bbl (4.0%)
  • Jet was up by USD 3.32/bbl (5.6%)
  • Petrol was up by USD 5.66/bbl (9.6%)

The freight rate has strengthened increasing the cost of shipping to Tonga (albeit from a fairly low level). The Tongan Pa’anga has been steady therefore the increase in Singapore prices has flowed through local prices.

For further information please contact the Ministry of Commerce, Consumer, Trade, Innovation & Labour at telephone 23688.


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