Laos grants credit for fuel imports after pumps run dry

This amount will be enough to purchase 200 million liters of fuel, which would cover demand for July and August at 100 million liters per month, Sonexay said.

The government will continue to provide foreign exchange to importers throughout the year in a bid to procure enough fuel, he added in response to questions from assembly members about the government’s plan to make in the face of the current fuel shortage.

The government grants credit despite limited foreign exchange reserves. The fall in the value of the kip has placed an additional burden on importers who struggle to find enough foreign currency to buy much-needed fuel, all of which must be imported.

Sonexay said the government would source foreign currency from companies that export minerals and agricultural products, which would be given to fuel importers in the remaining months of this year. The government allocated $60 million to fuel importers in June and the Ministry of Finance recently provided an additional $10 million.

From June 1 to 21, $102 million was collected to pay for imported fuel, which was enough to cover normal needs and included money from commercial banks. This allowed more gas stations to open, Sonexay said.

Laos imports all its fuel – on average 100 to 120 million liters per month.

Before the fuel price crisis, it cost the country between $600 million and $700 million to import enough fuel for a year. But that cost has doubled due to soaring fuel prices in the global market, Sonexay said.

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