Thailand: THB30 diesel cap stays until May 22

  • The government will maintain the cap on diesel prices at THB30 a litre using subsidies from the Oil Fund until the end of May 22 when a THB40bn loan supporting the subsidy scheme is expected to be depleted.
  • The Russia-Ukraine conflict has resulted in soaring energy prices, affecting domestic retail prices of oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
  • The LPG price would also have to be raised after having been fixed at THB318 per 15-kilogramme gas cylinder for some time. The new LPG price will be increased to THB333 per 15-kilogramme gas cylinder, starting from 1 Apr 22.
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow insisted the government will continue to maintain the cap, adding that if global crude oil prices are no more than USD115 per barrel, the THB40bn loan for the Oil Fund will be able to support the subsidy scheme until May 22.
  • Asked what action would be taken if the loan is finally used up, he said: “All we have to do now is to help save on energy while waiting for [additional loans].
  • “We have to rely on ourselves. The government will try to cap the prices within the financial limits. If everyone helps with energy saving, the cap will last long, and if prices go down, it will last even longer,” he said.
  • On 9 Mar 22, the National Energy Policy Committee (NEPC) resolved to lift the borrowing limits of the Oil Fund to allow for management flexibility and approved guidelines to address surging fuel prices.
  • The NEPC decided to remove the borrowing limits set at THB40bn, said energy permanent secretary Kulit Sombatsiri.
  • The measure, to be submitted to the cabinet next week, would also require legal amendments, he said. Currently, the law governing the Oil Fund does not allow its management to seek loans worth more than that sum.
  • The Energy Ministry and Finance Ministry would discuss measures to help benzene users via the state-welfare card scheme, which currently has about 13.5 million card holders.
  • The government has also helped people pay for cooking gas through its social welfare card scheme with a THB45 discount.

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