At Fuel Pumps, Price and Quality Are Anybody’s Guess

March 12th, 2013 , VOA Khmer

PHNOM PENH – Cambodia imports all of its fuel from abroad, but little regulation in the sector means everyday Cambodians see all kinds of prices at the pumps. Prices are high in Phnom Penh, while sometimes cheaper on the outskirts of the capital and even cheaper in the countryside. And they can be different from station to station, even on the same stretch of road. …

The price for premium gasoline in Phnom  Penh was as high as 5,700 riel per liter, or about $1.90, on March 3, though prices vary from station to station. …

Researcher Kim Ley, who keeps an eye on fuel prices, said high taxes on fuel mean more incentives for smuggling. And because the government does not disclose information on petroleum imports and prices to the public, some companies take advantage. …

Officially, import tariffs are about 35 percent for gasoline and 22 percent for diesel, according to the international petroleum company Caltex. According to Ministry of Finance data, around 1.65 million tons were imported in 2012—and increase of about 19 percent. …

Kong Chandararoth, an economist and head of the Cambodian Institute of Development Study, said lower prices are good news for people in the countryside, but the system as a whole should reflect more balanced pricing.

Suy Heimkhemra
http://www.voacambodia.com/content/at-fuel-pumps-price-and-quality-are-anybody-guess/1619374.html