Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Those on the edge feel bite of rising gas prices

Those on the edge feel bite of rising gas prices

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A sign displaying the new price of retail petrol on Tuesday in the capital. Hong Menea

Those on the edge feel bite of rising gas prices

The retail price of petrol in Cambodia rose again on Tuesday, upsetting many who work in low-paying jobs, like tuk-tuk drivers and food vendors.

For 10 days through June 1, the price of petrol will be 4,300 ($1.058 at Tuesday’s exchange rate) a litre, up 200 riel from the preceding period, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday.

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

Sitting on his motorbike in Phnom Penh on Tuesday awaiting customers, Chhoeun Borith, a tuk-tuk driver, was surprised to hear of the hike. Unable to realistically increase the fare he changes, the rise in the cost of petrol will eat into his income.

“The price increase is really affecting my income, but I dare not increase the fares I charge customers,” Borith said.

Explaining that he always followed the news on Facebook, Borith said the price for petrol in Thailand is cheaper.

“The price [in Thailand] is only 25 baht [$0.78] per litre, I really wonder why the price in Cambodia is so high, even though the government says it is controlled by price caps,” he said.

The Kingdom currently fills all of its oil needs through imports while Thailand is an oil-producing country.

Another disappointed petrol buyer is Nov Navy, who owns a grocery store on Street 242 in the capital. She was looking to expand her business but may postpone her plans if the petrol price continues to climb. “I can’t ride a motorbike as much as I want anymore as petrol has become really expensive. Besides, I need to save more.

“I hope the government will find a way to help poor people because if the price keeps rising, we will only suffer more,” she said.

Seang Thai, a spokesman at the Commerce Ministry, had previously explained that the formula devised for pricing petrol relied heavily on international oil prices, especially the rate it is traded in Singapore.

The price of international crude oil as of Tuesday was between $72 and $79 per barrel, according to data from Bloomberg.

Patrick Pouyanne, the CEO of French oil giant Total, said last week that the price could rise to $100 per barrel in the coming months.

Ngeth Chou, senior consultant at Emerging Markets Consulting (EMC), said the increase in the price of oil should be of great concern to Cambodia due to the major impact it could have on economic growth.

“It concerns the public because, when the price of oil rises very quickly, the government needs to increase the price of petrol just as quickly.

“This lowers consumption and impacts the economy,” he said, adding that some businesses will also increase the prices of their products and services when the petrol price rises.

Heng Lin, who runs a food stall, is one who is contemplating just that. “I don’t have an option as we need petrol to drive our vehicles. For now, I am taking a wait-and-see approach. But if the petrol price keeps increasing, I will start to raise the price of my food too,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Crumbling prices, rent ruffle condo segment

    The prolonged decline in international arrivals to Cambodia intensified by renewed Covid-19 fears has driven down condominium sales prices and rental rates in Phnom Penh, a research report said. CBRE Cambodia, the local affiliate of US commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures

  • More than 10,000 workers suspended

    More than 10,000 workers at 18 factories in Svay Rieng province have been suspended because of Covid-19, said provincial deputy governor Ros Pharith. Home to 11 special economic zones, Pharith said Svay Rieng has not been spared as the pandemic takes a toll on the global economy. “There

  • Nod given for school exams

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport announced that State-run higher educational institutions can hold examinations to end the academic year, while private schools can organise grade 9 and grade 12 examinations at their premises for two days. However, private institutions have to take measures to prevent

  • Oz lauds Kingdom’s passage of money laundering laws

    In a press release published by the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh on Monday, the country applauded Cambodia’s stance on transnational crimes as well as its promulgation of an anti-money laundering law and a law on combating proliferation financing. The praise came after King

  • Lotus face masks designed to cover globe

    A French designer in Cambodia has produced ecological face masks from lotus fibre to supply local and international markets with an eye on preserving ancestral techniques and supporting Cambodian women in rural communities. During a trip to Asia, Awen Delaval, an eco-friendly fashion designer, was

  • Accused not treated equally, says CCHR

    The Cambodia Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) has urged the Court of Appeal to do more to ensure that an accused’s right to a fair trial is fully respected. In a bulletin released on Monday, the CCHR said it had monitored 273 cases at the

  • Fish, frogs to boost local food supply

    The government has disbursed more than $4.5 million to boost aquaculture production and domestic market supply amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon told The Post on Monday that in boosting agricultural production, the ministry has received financing from development partners

  • Planning ministry hands out cash to 420,000 poor families in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Planning has identified 20,000 more poor families in the country, bringing the total to over 580,000, while over 420,000 of them have received the government’s cash assistance. In the meantime, many social security cards from families not deemed to be poor have been revoked.

  • Nature in focus at inaugural film and photo festival

    The first Cambodian Wildlife Photo and Film Festival – an event celebrating the conservation of nature through the eyes of wildlife photographers, nature enthusiasts and conservation experts – is scheduled for July 18-26 at Fauna in Focus’ Nature Discovery Centre in Siem Reap. The festival will be