Thailand: Diesel price crisis nearly over: energy minister

  • The high retail price of diesel is set to fall soon, Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow said on 8 Nov 21.
  • He was speaking before the senate committee on energy, in response to questions raised by the committee as to why prices have been rising rapidly across the country recently.
  • “From about THB25 per litre late in 2020, the average retail price of diesel has already surpassed THB30, which last month prompted the government’s committee on energy policy management to begin subsidising the diesel price in a bid to keep it no higher than THB30 per litre,” Mr Supattanapong said.
  • The diesel price subsidy using the Oil Fund will initially last no later than 2022, he said.
  • Aside from using Oil Fund mechanisms to keep the diesel price low, the government has also asked for cooperation from oil retailers to reduce their margins, he said.
  • Biodiesel prices have also risen considerably due to shortages in major producing nations, including Indonesia and Malaysia where Covid-19 outbreaks prompted labour shortages in the sector resulted in labour shortages in the palm oil making sector, he said.
  • Apichart Phrairungruang, president of the Land Transport Federation of Thailand, meanwhile, said a 20% strike by cargo lorry drivers will continue for an extra week to heap more pressure on the government to keep diesel under THB25 per litre. And in a symbolic move, more than 1,000 lorries will gather on routes into Bangkok on 16 Nov 21, he said.

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