Gas price tops 130 yen for first time since 1992

The average retail price of regular gasoline nationwide continued rising in September due to soaring crude oil prices, topping 130 yen per liter for the first time since January 1992, an industry body said Monday.

The average price, rated as of Sept. 10, was 131 yen per liter, including tax, up 2 yen from a month earlier and the third straight monthly rise, the Oil Information Center said.

Japanese oil distributors are set to hike wholesale prices in October, the industry body said, so retail prices are likely to keep rising.

The average price at the pump of premium gasoline in September was 142 yen per liter, up 2 yen from a month earlier, and that of diesel oil was 106 yen, up 1 yen.

Idemitsu Kosan Co. and Japan Energy Corp. separately said Monday they will raise wholesale prices of gasoline and middle distillates, including kerosene and gas-oil, by 1.2 yen a liter next month. It will be the fourth straight month the two major petroleum distributors have hiked these prices.

According to Idemitsu officials, procurement costs have risen due to such factors as a jump of $1.50 per barrel for Dubai crude.