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Gasoline prices down by over a third

Chhut Bunthoeun / Khmer Times Share:
Some city dwellers took advantage of the low petrol prices in recent days. KT/Pann Rachana

The retail price of gasoline has dropped by 36 percent, spurred by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has created volatile global oil prices According to a data graphic from the Ministry of Commerce released on Thursday, regular petrol went from 3,550 riel ($0.88) to 2,250 riel ($0.56) per litre, representing a 36.6 percent decrease. The price comparison began from 1 February to 30 April.

The price of diesel also went down from 3,400 riel ($0.84) to 2,300 riel ($0.57), a 32 percent decrease during the same period.

The Ministry of Commerce provides price updates every 15 days, a calculation based solely on the international market price. Fuel stations will be fined $1,000 if they charge more than the set price.

Seang Thay, Ministry of Commerce’s spokesman, said the local gasoline market price decline is due to the international market price and demand badly affected by the global pandemic.

“While people are advised to stay home and production in many sectors has slowed,  there will be lower demand,” he said.

Ironically, with many people not able to go about their day-to-day lives, they will not be able to take advantage of the commodity’s price decline.

However, farmers who have to continue producing crops and require fuel for their vehicles are feeling the financial benefit.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecasted that oil prices will likely remain below $43 per barrel from now until 2023, owing to persistently weak demand in a deep global recession sparked by the pandemic.

“However the rapidly falling cost of oil, which greases the wheels of the global economy, will help consumers,” it said in a statement.

Cambodian government is expected to be able to extract its own oil supply later this year under the operations of Singapore-based firm KrisEnergy Ltd, which operates Cambodia’s offshore Block A oil deposit, covering an area of 3,083 sq km in the Gulf of Thailand over the Khmer Basin, approximately 150 km offshore.

“Last year, our operations remained focused on maximising existing production and progressing the Apsara oil development in Cambodia Block A towards first oil extraction by mid-2020,” the company said in its recent report.

In order to meet market demands, Cambodia currently purchases petroleum from Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand.

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