Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government explains petrol price jump

Government explains petrol price jump

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Ministry of Commerce explains recent increase in petrol price. Heng Chivoan

Government explains petrol price jump

The retail price of petrol in Cambodia has increased for the third straight month, upsetting many who work in low-paying jobs, such as tuk-tuk drivers.

The price jumped to 4,200 riel per litre in mid-October from 3,950 riel in July, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

The price increase is hurting low-income families as the cost of the Kingdom’s upcoming traditional Pchum Ben Festival continues to rise.

Sitting on his tuk-tuk awaiting customers along Mao Tse Tong Blvd, Hak Samorn, 42, noted that the price of petrol continues to increase following the national election in July, cutting into his income.

“Fuel price increases make it difficult to earn a profit for a tuk-tuk driver like me, who has to support daily living costs and children as well,” he said.

Samorn, who has worked as a tuk-tuk driver for three years since 2015 said the competition in the transportation sector is also another challenge.

“Competition in the sector is increasing, and I can’t find more customers,” he said

The ministry said in its announcement on Wednesday that the retail price of petrol relies on price fluctuations in the global market, as Cambodia depends mainly on petroleum imports.

“The retail price of petroleum in the international market recently is increasing considering the political context in the world, especially complicated disputes between Western countries and major petroleum suppliers,” the announcement said.

Oil prices in the international market spiked this week to a four-year peak, with Brent crude at nearly $85 per barrel as a result of stretched global supplies caused by the US sanctions on Iran.

The ministry recalculates the retail fuel price cap every 10 days, based mostly on the trading price of crude oil in Singapore.

However, the period has been extended to 15 days since July, according to the ministry’s announcement. Its officials could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

Affiliated Network for Social Accountability head San Chey said any changes would be announced.

“Extending [this period to] longer than 10 days without reason is indicative of kickbacks to someone who could benefit from the delay,” he said, adding that the government should instead reduce the import tax or provide subsidies to consumers.

Supreme National Economic Council senior adviser Mey Kalyan said Cambodia being an importer of petroleum, and the Iran-US disputes have created petroleum price fluctuations that has have had a sharp impact on the Kingdom.

“We cannot avoid the impact when the price of petroleum fluctuates in the international market. But, we should understand how to use petroleum more efficiently for the industry, or try to figure [out] something better to replace [it] rather than rely on [it],” he said.

However, Kalyan said the government should inspect business monopolies in and find a way to manage them.

A motodop driver in Phnom Penh, Peng Heang, said the challenges are not only in the price of petrol, but taxi booking services like PassApp and the Phnom Penh City Bus services that are free for some are hurting his earnings.

“Petrol price is not the only problem. I have to compete with taxi booking services and the city bus. My breath has almost ended being a motodop driver,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors

  • Vietnam told to remove border tents

    Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophoan has ordered local authorities to prohibit the construction of buildings in areas bordering Cambodia and to report any irregularities immediately. Recently, Vietnamese officials removed another seven tents from the border area with Cambodia. His remarks were made on Wednesday afternoon

  • Migrant workers set to return from Malaysia

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation confirmed on Thursday that 158 Cambodian students and migrant workers will fly home from Malaysia on Friday morning. This is the second flight to bring Cambodians home from Malaysia. A ministry notice said Malaysia Airlines Flight MH754 will