Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fuel prices steadily increase

Fuel prices steadily increase

A man refills his motorcycle at a petrol station in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district yesterday.
A man refills his motorcycle at a petrol station in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district yesterday. Hong Menea

Fuel prices steadily increase

Nearly four months after the Ministry of Commerce implemented a fuel-pricing mechanism that lowered prices at the pump to reflect the fall in the global commodity last March, petrol prices have inched back up to pre-intervention levels.

Prices in early June are now back up to the same level before the government stepped in and intervened after a drawn-out two-month negotiation process brought the Kingdom’s oil importers to the table.

As consumers continue to criticise the regular 10-day hikes of fuel prices, the government has stood by the pricing mechanism, saying that it adequately represents global oil fluctuations.

According to the announcement from Ministry of Commerce, prices at the pump until June 11 are set at a maximum of 3,550 riel per litre for premium while regular petrol is fixed at 3,450 riel. Diesel costs 3,100 riel per litre.

Pen Sovicheat, director of domestic trade at the Ministry of Commerce, explained that the formula to determine price is based on the average Means of Platts Singapore (MOPS) benchmark, which also is adjusted for local customs fees, operating costs and value-added tax (VAT). He said the incremental rise in fuel prices over the last four months showed that the mechanism was achieving the desired results.

“Nothing has changed [for the mechanism] and prices have increased according to the international market,” he said, adding that as the price rises in Singapore, Cambodian prices would fluctuate. “The formula is transparent.”

Until this month, the fuel mechanism had consistently raised prices every 10 days at a rate of $0.3374 for premium while regular and diesel were capped at $0.3174 and $0.2927, respectively. However the June data for MOPS showed per litre increases of $0.3850 for premium, $0.3665 for regular and $0.3601 for diesel.

As prices are now back to pre-intervention levels, consumers have taken to social media to criticise and question the government’s pricing mechanism.

Tuk-tuk driver Sun Ra raised concerns about the increases as he regularly consumes nearly 4 litres of petrol per day.

“I appeal to the government to prevent more increases,” he said. “It is good to keep it below 3,000 riel per litre.”

Teng Delux, a lecturer of economics at a university Phnom Penh, said the government’s price mechanism was balanced and had helped to keep fuel prices reasonable. He added that when fuel was around 3,000 riel per litre, global crude prices hovered around $32 per barrel. Now, crude oil was nearly $50 per barrel.

“Without intervention, I think consumers would be paying higher than what they are now,” he said.

Cambodia imports between 1.5 million and 2 million tonnes of petrol and diesel annually. It is estimated that up to 5 to 7 million litres of fuel products are consumed daily.

MOST VIEWED

  • Construction begins on $1.5B Kampot seaport

    The International Multi-Purpose Logistics and Port Centre, principally invested by Kampot Logistics and Port Co Ltd and projected to cost $1.5 billion, has officially broken ground in Bokor town, Kampot province. The multi-purpose logistics and port centre, located in Prek Tnaot commune, will be built on

  • Cambodia eyes key role in electronics, auto hubs in SEA

    Two roadmaps, part of the LDC’s economic diversification plan, were designed to see it through its migration process, but experts say the journey might be arduous, particularly in the presence of two established hubs in the region By 2028, Cambodia hopes to have exited the

  • Hun Neng, lawmaker and PM’s brother, passes away aged 72

    Hun Neng, chairman of the 4th Commission of the National Assembly, has passed away from heart disease at the age of 72 on the afternoon of May 5, according to the Ministry of Information. Hun Neng is the older brother of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and was

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM meets with US business giants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has met with a number of major US companies who have expressed interest in investing in Cambodia, in a meeting convened by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC). A delegation of companies – including Amazon, Meta, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ford, Visa and Pernod

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with