Asia Tries to Shield Consumers From High Prices

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Rising oil prices have become too big a problem to ignore in Southeast Asia. Governments in Malaysia and Thailand have stepped in over recent weeks to ensure that fuel subsidies remain in place, a move that should not surprise since general elections could be held in the coming months in both countries. The Malaysian government announced earlier this month that prices for retail diesel, as well as Ron 95 and Ron 97 gasoline, will remain unchanged at 2.15 ringgit (51¢) per liter, 2.05 ringgit (48¢) per liter and 3.07 ringgit (73¢) per liter, respectively. “The government will continue to monitor the trends of global crude oil prices and take appropriate measures to ensure the continued welfare and well-being of the people,” Malaysia's Ministry of Finance said in a statement. In Thailand, authorities have limited the price of diesel at 28 baht (84¢) per liter until March to quell protests by truck drivers amid soaring prices. Thai authorities have also extended the liquefied petroleum gas price cap of 318 baht ($9.6) per 15-kilogram cylinder until Mar. 31. The cap was due to lapse at the end of January. All these measures are financed by Thailand’s Oil Fund. Even after raising 20 billion baht ($604.7 million) this month, the fund can only maintain retail fuel prices at current levels for a few months, says its director, Wisak Watthanasap.

Retail Marketing, Oil Prices, Diesel/Gasoil, NGL/LPG
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