Thailand: Cooking gas price frozen

Cooking gas prices will remain unchanged until the end of this year, even though world prices for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) are falling, as authorities seek to shore up the heavily indebted Oil Fuel Fund.

The retail price of cooking gas in Greater Bangkok will stay at 408 baht per 15kg cylinder, the Energy Policy Administration Committee decided on Thursday.

Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow acknowledged that from September to October, the global reference price for LPG had dropped by 11% to US$575.25 per tonne.

But the capped price locally will remain at the current level to ease the burden on the Oil Fuel Fund from heavily subsidising motor fuels and cooking gas for the past several months.

As of Tuesday, the fund’s debt had reached 126.7 billion baht, compared with 100 billion in July. The sum includes 42.56 billion baht in cooking gas subsidies and 84.12 billion spent to cap diesel and biofuel prices.