The strength of the Myanmar kyat has been a key factor in helping go stabilise local petrol prices at a time when global oil prices have become increasingly volatile.
Since the start of the year, oil prices have risen on the back of US sanctions on Iran, a major oil-producing nation. As fuel is mostly imported in Myanmar, that has led to a K200 and K100 increase in the price per litre of gasoline and diesel respectively, between January 1 and May 9, officials at local gas stations said.
Global oil prices hit US$62 per barrel yesterday on supply disruptions in the Middle East and as trade tensions escalated between the US and China. This is up by around 35 percent since the start of the year, according to Bloomberg data.
During the period, the exchange rate was relatively stable at K1537 per dollar yesterday compared to K1546 per dollar on January 2.
That has helped to ease the logistics and import costs of fuel, said U Tin Aung Kyaw, manager at Kyaw San Company, a fuel importer and trader.
“As world prices are increasing, local prices have been rising too. It is a relief that the foreign exchange rate is stable. Otherwise, one litre of gasoline may well have risen to over K 1000,” he said.
Petrol prices are currently K895 per liter of 92 Ron Octane, K970 per liter of 95 Ron Octane, K1005 per lire of diesel and K1015 per liter of premium diesel. At the start of the year, prices were K710, K800, K900 and K910 per litre, respectively.
“The current fuel supplies were imported before April. If oil prices decline from now and the exchange rate remains stable, local petrol prices may decrease in the months ahead,” said U Tin Aung Kyaw.
Last November, the prices of 92 ron was K1045, 95 ron was K1095, diesel was K1,090 and premium diesel was K1100 per litre. During that time, crude oil was US$76.41 per barrel and the exchange rate was K1565 per US dollar.