Hong Kong gasoline and diesel retail prices remain high despite falling crude costs.
The pump prices of motor fuel are not reflecting a nearly 50 percent fall in the cost of crude, Sky Post reported Friday, citing historical data.
When crude was at US$93.53 per barrel in 2011, import prices of lead-free gasoline in Hong Kong was HK$5.55 and retail gasoline prices HK$8.43 per liter, it said.
However, when crude fell to US$93.42 per barrel in October, imported lead-free gasoline was down 3 percent to HK$5.40 while retail prices rose 10 percent to HK$9.33.
Chevron and Shell, two of Hong Kong’s biggest oil retailers, said pump prices depend on the cost of refined oil products, not crude oil prices, and include rent, labor and operating expenses.
Most of their customers enjoy discounted retail prices, they said.
Dr. William Chung, director of the energy and environmental policy research center of City University of Hong Kong, criticized oil companies for passing costs to consumers.
Ringo Li of the Hong Kong Institute of Motor Industry said Hong Kong does not have a standard method for calculating fuel prices nor an independent body to monitor pricing transparency.
Meanwhile, the Consumer Council said movement in crude costs are not immediately reflected in retail prices.
However, it said it is checking retail prices and will announce the results of its investigation to the public.
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