TOKYO (MNI) – The average price of regular gasoline in Japan this
week fell to Y139.3 ($1.53) per liter, or $5.81 per gallon, from Y139.6
last week, posting the first drop in 13 weeks, according to data
released by the Oil Information Center on Wednesday.

But it was still much higher than the Y120.0 price of a year
earlier and the highest since Y141.0 marked on Nov. 4, 2008.

“Refiners are reviewing wholesale prices every week and the latest
move was to lower their prices in line with falling domestic oil product
markets, which have reflected a drop in the U.S. crude oil market,” said
a researcher at the center.

“The WTI price has been depressed by fears of a credit crunch in
Europe although energy demand from China and India remains strong,” he
said. “But the trend in gasoline prices seen from last year based on
expectations for a global economic recovery remains intact.”

Retail gasoline prices have been on a general uptrend since
mid-January 2009.

The national average price of Y106.0 marked on Jan. 13, 2009 was
the lowest level since the Y100.8 recorded on March 29, 2004.

This week the average price of high-octane gasoline stood at Y150.1
per liter, down from Y150.4 last week. It hit a record high of Y196.0 on
Aug. 4, 2008.

The average price for diesel oil stood at Y117.5 per liter this
week, down from Y117.7 last week. It compared with the record high of
Y167.4 hit on Aug. 4, 2008.

The average over-the-counter price of kerosene for heating stood at
Y1,437 per 18 liters, unchanged from last week. It posted a record high
of Y2,378 on Aug. 11, 2008.

The average home-delivery kerosene price this week was at Y1,555
per 18 liters, down slightly from Y1,556. It hit a record high of Y2,484
on Aug. 11, 2008.
** Market News International Tokyo Newsroom: 81-3-5403-4833**

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