Thailand to raise transport LPG prices by 0.63 baht/kg

BANGKOK - Thailand's military-backed government will raise prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) used for transportation by 0.63 baht (0.025 Singapore cents) per kg from Tuesday, the second increase in a month, the energy ministry said.

The move is part of the country's closely-watched energy reforms aimed at shifting the structure of domestic fuel prices from a highly-regulated system to a market-based one.

Transport LPG prices will be raised to 22.63 baht/kg, at par with prices for LPG meant for household use, the ministry said in a statement on Monday. The increase will also help prevent users from swapping LPG for transportation with cooking gas.

On Oct 1, the government had hiked transport LPG prices by 0.62 to 22 baht.

Thailand plans to gradually raise domestic gas prices over the next 12 months to bring them more in line with the import prices paid by the state supplier, Energy Minister Narongchai Akarasanee said earlier this month.

State-controlled PTT PCL, the country's sole gas supplier, has shouldered losses from fuel subsidies as it has to import LPG at global prices, which are at $747 per tonne, and sell them at the government-fixed price of $333 per tonne.

In 2013, LPG for household cooking accounted for 32 per cent of Thailand's total LPG consumption, while the petrochemical sector accounted for 35 per cent and transportation 24 per cent, according to data from the energy ministry.