Cambodians feel the bite of rising gas prices

ASEAN+ May 24, 2018 01:00

By PHNOM PENH POST
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
PHNOM PENH

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 riel ($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 Bt25 [$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.

 

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