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Motorists Grapple With Fuel Shortage In Vientiane

Source: Vientiane Times

Motorists in Vientiane are struggling to find premium grade and regular fuel for their vehicles after some petrol stations ran out of supplies when the government announced an increase in prices of all types of fuel.

Since the Ministry of Industry and Commerce issued a notification for the new prices last Friday, many Motorists have faced difficulties in finding fuel at petrol stations.

Some of them have gone to many stations to buy fuel, especially motorcyclists who need premium grade and regular petrol.

Some motorists said the recent change in retail prices may have resulted in panic buying and thus led to fuel pumps in the suburbs of Vientiane running out of supplies.

“I went to a number of petrol stations to fill the tank of my motorcycle but it was difficult to find one that had fuel. Finally, I got my tank filled at a station located close to my community,” a motorcycle owner said.

Fuel shortages were also reported in some developed countries in Europe, where motorists recently had to join long queues for many hours to fill their tanks. However, some motorists were disappointed when the stations run out of fuel.

A petrol station attendant in Vientiane told Vientiane Times on Monday that one of the problems that resulted in a shortage of fuel is that fuel trucks from neighbouring Thailand brought in supplies only twice a month.

“Our station has nearly run out of fuel since the end of September, and after the domestic retail prices increased, people rushed to fill their tanks. The petrol station ran out of some types of fuel,” he said.

The Covid-19 preventive measures are another problem affecting the transportation of fuel, especially since a strict lockdown was implemented over the past two weeks.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce issued a notification to announce the restructuring of retail prices at petrol stations across the country since last Friday.

The price of premium grade fuel went up by 560 kip per litre, while the price of regular fuel increased by 530 kip per litre and the cost of diesel increased by 570 kip per litre.

This mean that motorists are now paying 13,170 kip per litre for premium grade fuel, 11,370 kip per litre for regular petrol and 9,920 kip per litre for diesel.

Till recently, motorists in Vientiane paid 12,610 kip for a litre of premium grade petrol, while regular grade was priced at 10,840 kip per litre, and diesel at 9,350 kip per litre.

If compared to previous changes in fuel prices, the latest increase is the highest for 2021.