Domestic petrol costs should reflect drop in global oil prices
A streetside petrol vendor makes a sale in Phnom Penh in this file photo. Many Cambodians use streetside sellers to buy cheaper fuel.
PRIME Minister Hun Sen has urged the Finance Ministry to work towards lowering the price of petrol to better reflect recent drops in global oil costs, he told reporters late Monday.
"I have ordered the minister of economy and finance to work on this issue. If we look at the last figures, the price of world oil has dropped around 25 percent, but in Cambodia, petrol prices have only fallen 10 percent.
Petrol costs rose 32.5 percent in the year to August, according to the most recent Consumer Price Index figures released this week. The local price hikes, which went as high as 6,000 riels a litre, saw a massive spike in the price of other consumer goods and services.
Cambodian fuel giant Sokimex Co was selling its petrol for 5,000 riels a litre Tuesday, down from 5,700 riels a month ago, said Sokimex Deputy Director Heu Heng.
Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association and one of the staunchest critics of high fuel prices because of their impact on the Kingdom's poor, lauded Hun Sen's order but said that the results at the pump would be too slow in coming. "The price of petrol in Cambodia should be 3,500 riels per litre," he told the Post Tuesday. Fuel industry analyst Bin May Mialia said Hun Sen's order was fair following the drop in world oil costs. But he added that Asian fuel distributors might be slower than those in Europe to lower their prices.