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Meeting on Gas Prices Postponed Again

Sum Manet / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
A gas station in Kampong Cham. A new pricing formula could lead to lower prices. Erwan Deverre

The planned meeting of representatives from eight leading gas-station chains and government officials to discuss a formula for setting a range for retail gasoline prices was postponed yesterday until tomorrow, officials at the Commerce Ministry said.

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The meeting is being held to develop a mechanism for setting retail prices here to bring them into line with the price of oil on global markets, which has fallen swiftly this year. Currently, Cambodia has no such mechanism.

Tomorrow’s meeting will bring together officials from the Commerce Ministry, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Mines and Energy and representatives of gas companies Savemex, Sokimex, Caltex, Total Combodge, LHR, PTT, Cambodia Tela and BVM, officials said.

Commerce Ministry spokesman Ken Ratha said all gasoline companies had submitted prices requested by the government that show how much they pay to buy gas, how much they pay to store and transport it, and how much they sell it for, as well as operational costs. These prices and costs had not yet been fully checked by officials, he said.

“We will have a meeting on the 8th of this month to finalize the result for gas prices with the ministry and the companies that joined the last meeting,” Mr. Ratha said, referring to a meeting held on September 30. That meeting was expected to end with a new range for gas retail prices, but was postponed because the companies did not provide enough information, officials said. 

Officials told Khmer Times yesterday that the Commerce Ministry had already proposed a formula for determining a price range to all the companies, but officials need to discuss it with them.

Houng Sunhin, station section manager of PTT, said the company submitted the prices and costs requested by officials. “We are waiting for the ministry to inform us about the [next] meeting date,” he said. 

Regular gasoline was selling for 3,750 riel per liter yesterday in Phnom Penh, down from 4,400 riel in early January, according to  a report from the Commerce Ministry. The price of oil on the global market has fallen from more than $90 a barrel to less than $50 a barrel over the past 12 months.

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