After months of gradual increases in fuel prices, the CNMI finally saw a price rollback yesterday, with local oil companies reducing gas prices by 15 cents.
Mobil Oil Marianas led the way yesterday with a 15-cent reduction in their fuel prices. Shell Marianas is expected to follow suit today.
Late yesterday afternoon, Mobil reduced the price of its regular fuel from $6.56 a gallon to $6.41 a gallon. Also, Mobil now charges $6.86 per gallon of its Supreme Fuel, down from $7.01, while its diesel price was also reduced from $7.48 per gallon to $7.38.
This was the first price rollback seen in months.
For a 19-year-old individual who pulled up at the pump at around 3pm yesterday, it was like winning the lottery.
“I pulled up at the pump and I saw a Mobil worker changing their price board and it felt like I won a lottery. I was going to pump $40 worth of gas but I was like ‘better make the most of it’ and I decided to just go full tank. It was exciting,” she said.
Meanwhile, a 45-year-old construction worker said it was relief to see the fuel price rollback even though it was only 15 cents.
“I know 15 cents is small but when you’ve been seeing a steady increase for the past few months, it’s like a small breath of fresh air. It felt like a relief to see fuel go back down. I only hope it continues because over $6 for gas is too much,” he said.
The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline fell by 4 cents per gallon since the last week of June. It was the first drop in nine weeks and came with a drop in oil prices amid deepening global inflation fears, industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said.
“As lower gasoline prices make their way through distribution to retail, consumers will likely see further declines in coming days,” Lundberg said.
For the past few months, CNMI fuel prices have been gradually increasing, the latest of which happened just two weeks ago, with local oil companies across Saipan raising prices by 15 cents.
Prior to that increase, in the first week of June, fuel prices were increased 15 cents.
A steady increase in fuel prices was also seen throughout the month of May with the last increase of 15 cents was seen on May 20.
The steepest increase the CNMI has seen in the past few months was back in April 20, when local oil companies increased their prices by 20 cents, bringing regular fuel prices up to $5.96 for a gallon.
The CNMI saw its first fuel increase of the year back on Jan. 5, when local oil companies raised prices of regular fuel to $4.96, followed by a string of increases that reached an all-time-high of $6.06 per gallon of regular fuel in March.
The CNMI then finally saw its first gas rollback in mid-March, with oil companies bringing regular fuel down to $5.86. The rollback was followed by yet another increase at the end of March with fuel going back up to $6.01. (With AP)