11 July 2024

The price of cooking gas in Thailand will be increased by one baht/kg every month for three months, which will send the price of a 15kg cylinder of household cooking gas to 378 baht in July, 393 baht in August and 408 baht in September, according to a decision by the Committee on Energy Policy Administration (CEPA) yesterday (Wednesday).

The panel also agreed to reduce the palm oil content of bio-diesel from B7 to B5 until the end of September.

Energy Permanent Secretary Kulit Sombatsiri said that even though the price of cooking gas is to increase, the government continues to partially subsidise the price, because the actual price of a 15kg cylinder of cooking gas should be 460 baht.

He said that the price of gas has been increased by one baht per kilogramme per month since April, adding that the partial subsidy, instead of the full subsidy, has increased the cash flow of the Oil Fuel Fund by about 200 million baht a month.

The fund is, however, still in the red, as the government is partially subsidising the prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and diesel, to ease impacts on consumers. Diesel is mostly used by trucks, so price increases result in increased transport charges and goods prices.

The Fuel Fund Executive Committee decided on Monday to increase the diesel price by another one baht per litre, to 34.94 baht, effective on Tuesday, the fourth rise since May 1st and almost reaching the ceiling price set at 35 baht/litre. The move came amid global fuel price hike.

Kulit said that, if global energy prices continues to rise, the government may allow domestic oil prices to float and reflect actual oil prices adding, however, that only prices of certain types of oil will be allowed to float.

He also said that a proposed measure to ease the burden of the increasing cost of living, from oil price rises, will be submitted to the cabinet next Tuesday.

Regarding the possibility of cutting oil refining charges, to slow down the price increase of finished oil products, he said that he expects the panel considering the matter to be able to complete its deliberations soon.

Kla Party leader Korn Chatikavanij earlier called on the government to cut charges by Thai refiners, noting that they have increased substantially by up to tenfold in the past 3 years.