Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prices at the pump set to fall, gov’t says

Prices at the pump set to fall, gov’t says

A customer at a Sokimex petrol station waits for his change from a fuel attendant
A customer at a Sokimex petrol station waits for his change from a fuel attendant yesterday in Phnom Penh. Four petrol companies have reduced the price of petrol following a government statement that was released yesterday. Hong Menea

Prices at the pump set to fall, gov’t says

The cost of filling up a motorbike will drop by as much as 12 per cent today after the government called on petrol retailers to fall in line with declining global oil prices.

A statement released yesterday by the Ministry of Commerce said major petrol stations Sokimex, Thailand’s PTT and BVM will drop their average prices from about $1.25 per litre to close to $1.17 per litre. Smaller petrol provider Savimex will reduce its prices on average to about $1.10 per litre, the ministry said.

“The drop in oil prices proves that the government cares for the people and private sector development,” the statement said.

Ministry spokesman Ken Ratha told the Post that the announcement follows a meeting on Wednesday led by Deputy Prime Minister Keat Chhon, with the Commerce Ministry, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and nine petrol companies operating in Cambodia.

“Based on the global oil price, we have seen that it has dropped so we held the meeting to see how much we can drop the price here,” he said.

Companies were encouraged to reduce their prices, but only on a voluntary basis, Ratha said.

“We didn’t force them, as you can see a few did not reply at the meeting as they need time to discuss it further,” he said, referring to Caltex and Total, which have not stated whether they will reduce their prices.

Bin May Mialia, a spokesman for PTT, said yesterday that global oil prices, staff costs and tax rates were all discussed at the meeting with the government on Wednesday.

“We didn’t receive any pressure from the government to drop our prices, we volunteered to decrease the price as we have to follow the current global oil price,” he said.

According to Mialia, Singapore’s refined petroleum dropped from $108.63 a barrel in September to $93.73 a barrel in October. It continued to decline and hit $89.86 a barrel on November 19, he said yesterday.

Local petrol prices were slow in responding to the global drop as PTT had a stockpile of petroleum imported from earlier in the year, Mialia said.

Heu Heng, deputy managing director of Sokimex, said his company began reducing prices on the 15th of this month in response to a global fall.

“When we had the meeting with the inter-ministries yesterday [Wednesday], we were happy to decrease further as we understand the current drop at the global market,” he said.

Kang Chandararot, president of the Cambodia Institute for Development Study, said yesterday that the government was right to intervene when it came to market staples.

“Commodities like gasoline and food are the core of [the] economy, so any government has to intervene when there is problem,” he said.

The move helps stabilise commodity prices and should pose “no threat” to competition in the private sector, he added.

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party president, Sam Rainsy, who has long said that local prices did not reflect the world market prices, claimed partial responsibility yesterday for the industry’s price reduction.

“I am glad to have contributed or hastened this evolution at a time when retail gasoline prices all over the world have been dropping since the beginning of 2014,” Rainsy said in an email.

Further steps are needed to prevent oil smuggling, which Rainsy said creates an unfair playing field for businesses and restricts state tax revenues.

“But consumers and the ordinary people suffer most,” he went on to say.


  • 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

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • 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