The retail prices of regular-grade petrol and diesel respectively increased by 1.20 per cent and 1.30 per cent on June 11, according to a notice issued by the Ministry of Commerce.
For the June 11-20 period, the retail selling prices of fuel in the Kingdom have been set at 4,200 riel or $1.02 per litre of regular EA92 (petrol with an octane rating of at least 92) and 3,900 riel or $0.94 per litre of 50ppm diesel (with sulphur content no more than 50 parts per million), said the notice, which contains values in both currencies.
The corresponding rates for June 1-10 were 4,150 riel ($1.01) and 3,850 riel ($0.94) per litre of regular EA92 and diesel, respectively, compared to 4,200 riel ($1.03) and 4,550 riel ($1.11) at January 1, 2023.
Compulsory for licensed filling stations – although usually not strictly enforced for street vendors and in other circumstances, the rates are issued every first, 11th and 21st of the month, computed using data extrapolated from fluctuations in crude prices on the international market, and a number of taxes and charges that may be adjusted based on feedback from meetings with local oil importers and other stakeholders.
The BBC on June 5 reported that oil prices increased after Saudi Arabia revealed that it would reduce production next month by one million barrels per day (bpd), with additional members of OPEC Plus – a cartel of 23 oil-producing nations – also signalling continued cuts in a bid to boost falling rates of the commodity.
The British public broadcaster noted that around 40 per cent of the world’s crude oil is produced by OPEC Plus, and that its actions can significantly affect oil prices.
Speaking to The Post on June 11, Royal Academy of Cambodia economist Hong Vanak commented that, as a non-oil producer, the Kingdom is entirely dependent on imports of crude to meet domestic demand.
As such, the prices of crude oil and derivative products – including petrol and diesel – in Cambodia are subject to fluctuations in international markets, he said, stressing that excessive rates could have serious repercussions for manufacturing and other production processes.
“We want oil prices to stay low as importers because lower energy costs will help keep production costs down,” he said.
In a December interview with The Post, Federation of Associations for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia (FASMEC) president Te Taingpor argued that the investment allure of the Kingdom could be even more potent if electricity prices were brought down to or below the levels offered in nearby countries.
Lower electricity prices generally mean lower production costs for energy-intensive businesses, which would give them an edge to successfully compete on the international stage, he said.
“Prices for fuel and electricity are key aspects of the appeal to investors, as these are important inputs for manufacturing, along with raw materials and labour. When these rates are stable and low, investors will see opportunities,” Taingpor said.
The ministry notice shows that the current semi-monthly regular EA92 rate was computed by adding the $0.5529 average Means of Platts Singapore (MOPS) over June 1-9, $0.1716 in taxes and associated charges ($0.0847 in customs duty, $0.0200 in additional fees and $0.0669 in special fees) and $0.20 premium – summing up to about $0.924 – plus an extra 10 per cent surcharge on top of that for a total of $1.0169 which was then converted and adjusted to the final values.
Similarly, the diesel rate was formulated from a $0.5690 mean MOPS (over the same six working days), $0.0595 in taxes and associated charges ($0.0000 in customs duty, $0.0400 in additional fees and $0.0195 in special fees) and $0.23 premium – tallying up to around $0.858 – with a 10 per cent fuel surcharge for a sum of $0.9443, which was then converted and rounded to the current values.
The MOPS prices for petrol and diesel were up 0.52-0.57 per cent and down 1.33-1.38 per cent compared to the averages computed over the eight working days from May 22-31, at $0.5499 and $0.5614, respectively, expressing figures by their possible ranges of values so as to account for rounding errors.
And as has been customary since May 21, 2022, the notice mentioned that the two current per-litre rates include a 6.5 US cent reduction greenlit by Prime Minister Hun Sen “to ease the people’s livelihoods”.