Shell has announced a reduction in LPG prices from today in a move described as well overdue.
It cut the wholesale price of cylinder gas 40 cents to $5.50 a kilogram and the price of domestic piped-in LPG from $21.39 to $20.39 per cubic metre, based on a forecast import price of $1.30.
The company said although import prices had fallen from $2 at the beginning of last year to $1.17 in July, they recovered to $2 last month, bringing the average import prices for 1998 to $1.50.
A Shell spokesman said the latest price represented 'the lowest possible level and will be reviewed after six months'. Previously it reviewed prices annually.
Esso followed suit, cutting the LPG price per kilogram 40 cents to $7.95 and for piped-in systems to $8.27.
The announcements came on the heels of government pressure for cuts, with Secretary for Economic Services Stephen Ip Shu-kwan leading the chorus.
It followed Shell's decision two weeks ago to lower prices for leaded and unleaded petrol 12 per cent and diesel 15 per cent.
The company will publish its forecast import price every half year and take any price discrepancy into account in the next review.
The Consumer Council said the reduction 'was a step in the right direction, but one that is well overdue'.