Local fuel prices in Myanmar are rising sharply due to the high price of fuel internationally. Also contributing to the problem are the high exchange rates for exports that earn dollars, according to the Myanmar Petroleum Trade Association (MPTA).
Sharp increase in prices
Daily records from the MPTA show that 1 litre of fuel increased hugely in the month between 18 August and 19 September, going from K50 to K65.
MPTA secretary Dr Win Myint says: “Our remaining stocks have diminished and new import prices have risen. Hence, fuel prices become a little higher.”
Highest fuel prices
The highest average prices of fuel on 18 August were K680 for gasoline and K690 for diesel. On 19 September, they were at K730 for gasoline and K470 for diesel.
Consumers are noticing these changes, with one saying: “The quantities we received for K10,000 last month and in this month [prices] differed a lot.”
Prices per barrel (more than 132 litres) on 18 August were $64.74 for gasoline and $62.70 for diesel. On 19 September, they were up to $67.47 for gasoline and $68.91 for diesel.
As fuel prices have increased internationally, this has perhaps inevitably pushed up local prices as well. Denko managing director U Thaung Shwe says: “As fuels for motors have risen internationally, the price of export earning dollar has also increased. As it was no more profitable, some of us had to increase the fuel prices.”
The exchange rate also dropped between the two marker points. On 18 August, the exchange rate of exports earning dollars was K1,364 and on 19 September had dropped to just K1,360.
Importers based in Myanmar have to buy back the export earning dollars, which inevitably then changes the prices. Exchange rates set by the Central Bank of Myanmar on 18 August were K1,361/US$, which changed to K1,355/US$ on 19 September.