Motorists in Vientiane have taken to social media citing a chronic fuel shortage among petrol stations in the capital.
Petrol stations have found themselves intermittently short of fuel this year as trucks delivering imported fuel make the trip from Thailand only twice per month.
Some have blamed hoarding and stockpiling for the shortages, while others claim the fluctuation in exchange rates has meant fuel companies and importers suffer.
An industry expert spoke with the Laotian Times, saying that importers must exchange Lao currency for US Dollars before purchasing fuel, while the exchange rate remains unfavorable. At the same time, government regulations on fuel prices cap the price at the pump, meaning some petrol stations make a loss.
A resident of Dondeng Village, Chanthabouly District told Laotian Times that many petrol stations had purportedly run out of supplies yesterday.
“I drove to a nearby gas station to fill up on regular gasoline after work but the staff there informed me they had completely run out,” she said.
A foreign resident living in Sisattanak reported that he had to visit three separate petrol stations to fill up his vehicle yesterday.
“I am not sure what happened or if this is perhaps a strategy by authorities to get people to stay at home and respect the lockdown restrictions,” the man added.
Last month the government of Laos announced an increase in fuel prices for the sixteenth time this year, bringing the price of regular gasoline to LAK 11,790 per liter.
The price of V-power gasoline in Vientiane Capital has climbed to LAK 13,620 per liter, while regular gasoline has risen to LAK 11,790 per liter and diesel fuel has also been raised to LAK 10,300 per liter.
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