The retail price of petrol in Malaysia has reached an all-time high this week, with the announcement of an increase of 37 cents on RON 97 petrol, bringing it to RM4.70 per liter for the period from May 26 to June 1. This, of course, has no effect on most drivers, as most use the subsidized RON 95 (which is about 130% cheaper than the current rate of RM2.05 per liter), but there are some applications that require higher octane use. Rating is fuel, and their users are undoubtedly feeling the pinch.
One wonders how many people have now given up fuel consumption in the wake of significant climbs in recent weeks. It wasn’t long before the fuel was still “manageable” – at the beginning of the year, it went up to RM3.00 per liter, which I believe its users still find efficient enough to fill. Exceeding the RM4 threshold, which it did in the week of May 12-18, when it touched RM4.31 all can be seen but the most sustainable (and well-to-do) fuel continued.
If things look bad for the RON 97, it has become a nightmare for the particular unregulated Euro 4M fuel, two of which are sold here in the country – Patron’s Blaze 100 and Shell’s V-Power Racing. As part of our weekly fuel update post, we track and list both prices on our fuel price tracker on the site. Both always have a marked price premium above RON 97 and have been adjusted subject to an increase or decrease in the price of RON 97.
Since they are uncontrolled, pricing is not fixed (or always adjusted weekly), but over the last few months the gap has become much wider than before. Currently, RM5.60 per liter for Blaze 100 and wait, RM6.20 per liter for VPR (May 26-June 1 week), the question must be asked, what is a common member of the public paying? Ride their ride with this fuel?
This is certainly a big question, because at the beginning of March, Blaze 100 was at RM4.10 and VPR was at RM4.27 while RON 97 was RM3.45 per liter. Since then, two months plus, Patron’s premium fuel has increased by 36.5%, Shell’s offer has increased by 45%. International oil prices could be as low as US 140 140 per barrel as they hit in March, but its current rise above 110 110 per barrel means that things are not going as it looks pink for these two fuels or RON 97. .
Anyone who doesn’t go to the pump every week (or every month, about that) can wave a white flag. As a longtime Blaze 100 user, I went to the pump last week to tank up and, seeing a Blaze 100 price reminder in a small window, proceeded to tank up with RON 97 instead. It even takes more than a single swipe of the card, since the set limit for each transaction is RM200.
Before anyone can start commenting on the allure of my wallet (and I can imagine my colleague Danny Tan muttering something about rich people), some context is needed. It took me about two months to use a tank and cover just over 500 kilometers, and that’s when I actually drove out of the ordinary. The last fillet made last week was about six months ago, so a Blaze 100 tank doesn’t usually expand when you don’t measure its use.
Mention ‘usually’, because the previous fil was made RM3.08 per liter, and the idea of paying RM5.50 for the same thing was a mental barrier that I couldn’t overcome. I can’t imagine what it’s like for VPR people right now. And not too long ago, just two years ago, when the Blaze 100 was below the RM2.50 mark, and the RON 97 was at RM1.55. In fact, when it was launched in January 2016, the Blaze 100 sold for RM2.80, so here we are at the moment.
If any reader is still using this particular unregulated fuel, or even RON 97, which is rapidly becoming insane, we want to hear why. Honestly, I’m not sure anyone would even respond, but hey, if you do, share your thoughts with us. And no, we’re not going to talk about subsidies here – it’s a matter of another day.