Cambodia's leading fuel companies lower their prices, heeding Hun Sen's
call for a ‘gift to the people' amid further falls in global petroleum
A petrol station in Phnom Penh. Prices at the pump have dropped significantly following government pressure.
TWO local petroleum giants dropped their prices Monday after repeated appeals from Prime Minister Hun Sen to reduce the cost of fuel.
"I beg two companies, Sokimex and Tela, to try their best to drop the price," Hun Sen said during the launch of a Korean ethanol plant in Kandal province.
While oil prices have plummeted on international markets, pump prices have remained stubbornly high in Cambodia, leading to criticism from the government and consumers.
"Please drop the price and I guarantee the quality," Hun Sen said.
In the same speech, Hun Sen announced that Sokimex cut prices by 200 riels and Tela by 150 riels for regular, premium and diesel fuel.
Oil prices on the international market, which peaked at $147 per barrel in July, have dropped to US$54 per barrel, putting further pressure on Cambodian fuel suppliers to cut pump prices.
'Gift to the people'
Hun Sen also took aim at Cambodia's other main fuel companies, Caltex and Total, saying: "Giving a gift to the prime minister means giving a gift to the people."
"I appeal to all petroleum companies to continue to drop the price of gasoline," he said. "I know they [Caltex and Total] had fuel reserves remaining in stock but now they should drop."
Prices at Sokimex and Tela stand at 3,800 riels for gold, 3,700 riels for silver and 3,600 for diesel.
GIVING A GIFT TO THE PRIME MINISTER MEANS GIVING A GIFT TO THE PEOPLE.
Heu Heng, deputy director of Sokimex petroleum stations in Phnom Penh, said that his company already cut prices before the prime minister's appeal.
"Early this morning, my company cut petroleum prices by 100 riels."
But he added that news of Hun Sen's speech prompted him to make further cuts.
"When I got news, I cut 100 riel more to make sure that we reflect global petroleum prices. The new decrease will not impact my income," he said.
Tela heeds the call
Ngoun Leng, Tela petroleum company's deputy director of marketing, said: "My stations have cut the price of gasoline because the global oil market has fallen".
"Today, to comply with the recommendation of the prime minister, my stations decreased prices to just 3,800 riels for gold gasoline, 3,700 riels for silver gasoline and 3,600 riels for diesel."
Ngoun Leng also said the price cuts would have no effect on his revenues because they were in line with recent drops in oil prices on the world market.
Nhean Sothy, who operates a taxi service between Phnom Penh and Svay Rieng, welcomed news of Hun Sen's appeal and the petrol companies' compliance, saying he could now adjust his fares to reflect the change in fuel costs.
"I'm very happy and will start using local petroleum stations when the new prices begin," he said. "While the price of petrol was high, I used fuel smuggled across the border from Vietnam because it was cheaper."