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

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • Delta spreading in Kingdom

    Cambodia has so far detected more than 200 cases of the highly contagious coronavirus Delta variant, with 109 found on July 31 and August 1. The Ministry of Health has expressed deep concerns that the variant may have already reached communities and be spreading as some of the cases

  • US' Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines arrive

    The first batch of 455,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine donated by the US touched down in Phnom Penh on the morning of July 30. They are part of the total 1,060,100 doses the US has pledged to provide to Cambodia through the World Health Organisation-led (

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four