Fuel prices have increased and stocks are running low in many parts of Myanmar after the junta-controlled Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) changed the US dollar reference exchange rate from 1,850 kyats to 2,100 kyats per dollar.
On Sunday, fuel prices were 1,600 kyats per liter. By Monday, the price had risen by 200 kyats on average to 1,800 kyats. Fuel prices are higher in the regions and states furthest away from Yangon due to transportation costs. Some filling stations have been forced to close, according to fuel suppliers.
One fuel wholesaler told The Irrawaddy on Monday: “Prices have increased today. But in the market, we can’t buy new stock. Stocks have run out in remote towns. The Petroleum Products Regulatory Department of the regime can’t fulfill our demand. As we wholesalers can’t sell, retailers have run out of stock.”
The CBM adjusted the reference exchange rate from August 8 as the Myanmar currency continues to weaken against the US dollar.
On Monday, Ron 92 octane was not available at many filling stations in Yangon, while Ron 92 and Ron 95 were not available at filling stations in Mandalay, Muse and Lashio.
A Mandalay resident said on Monday: “Prices started to increase on Sunday and stocks ran out of Monday. We can’t buy Ron 92 or Ron 95. Prices have increased by around 210 kyats per liter in Mandalay. Some filling stations are closed.”
Since June, the military regime has only supplied filling stations by quota, so the supply does not meet market demand.
Fuel suppliers were instructed to sell at fixed prices on April 20 by the junta’s supervisory committee on the import, storage and distribution of fuel.
In Yangon, its reference prices are 1,815 kyats for Ron 92 octane, 1,880 kyats for Ron 95 octane, 2,225 kyats for diesel and 2,290 kyats for premium diesel.