What goes up, never comes down

Cowtex has been the first company to increase petrol prices whenever crude oil prices increase. I was quite unhappy, and thus submitted a feedback to them about 9 days ago.

My submission:

Hi Sir/Madam, I have noticed something significant in the past few weeks. Caltex has been super efficient in increasing pump prices every time the BRENT or WTI goes up. However, your efficiency is lost when the opposite happens – when those indexes drop significantly. Could I have a formal explanation for this? And please do not just give me an answer based on templates. I would like to be contacted personally. Thanks.

Their reply came about 10 days after, only after I called them up to ‘chase’ them. I am posting their reply in full (emphasis mine).

  • With regards to your query, please find the explanation below:
  • Supply, demand, competition and the marketplace determine our retail pump prices at any given point in time.  Over the long haul we also need to recover costs to stay in business, so the cost of our products and other costs associated with selling them do influence pricing.  Day-to-day, though, prices are determined by the dynamics of the market place.
  • While gasoline prices tend to track oil prices over time, the oil market is a global market of supply and demand, while gasoline markets are more strongly set by local or regional supply and demand conditions.
  • To explain further, beside crude oil prices, a more important factor that impacts retail pump prices in Singapore is product costs – that is the Means of Platts Singapore for gasoline and diesel.  The basis for Chevron to make any pump price adjustments is not based on a single day’s crude oil price.  We consistently monitor the general trend of product prices before making any adjustments.
  • Chevron closely monitors the competitive landscape at all times, and moves prices up or down in the general direction of the market, based on our own independent assessment.  We firmly believe in offering our products at fair and reasonable prices.
  • We will continue to be open and transparent about price changes when they occur.

PR-ing to the max.



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