The Kingdom’s strong economic growth so far this year has driven petroleum imports 67 per cent higher year-on-year through October, according to Ministry of Commerce data.
Total imports reached 1.2 million tonnes, or US$1.14 billion worth, in the first 10 months of the year, compared to about 724,000 tonnes worth $485.9 million in the year-ago period, the ministry said.
Officials attributed the growth to a resurgent economy following the global downturn of the past few years.
“It reflects the resilience of our economy, especially the improvement of the manufacturing, production and agriculture sectors,” Kong Putheara, director of the Commerce Ministry’s statistics department, said.
“It also emphasises that our people can earn more income, so they need more petrol for their business activities or travelling,” he added.
Bin Many, manager of Thai energy firm PPT’s Cambodian operations, which sells petroleum to the Kingdom’s retail market, acknowledged the increased demand and said his company had boosted distribution in both Phnom Penh and the provinces to meet that demand.
“The volume of petroleum imports is running in line with our GDP,” he said. “Whenever our GDP improves, the need to import gasoline also increases in order to supply the surge in local consumption for production, industry and so on.”
Cambodia’s GDP will grow 6.4 percent for the year, with the agriculture sector up 4.1 per cent, industry up 9.3 per cent and the service sector 5.7 per cent, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
The Commerce Ministry’s daily commodity data showed the gasoline prices at five stations in Phnom Penh rose around 12 per cent year-to-date, reaching 5,300 reil, or $1.30 per liter of gold gasoline.