Myanmar Government Denies Shortage as Motorists Queue for Fuel

Myanmar fuel crisis
Motorists flock to petrol pumps in Myanmar.

Myanmar’s energy ministry has denied rumors that the country is facing a fuel shortage despite long queues of motorists forming at petrol pumps.

The military-controlled energy ministry claimed in a statement that national reserves held 45 million gallons of petrol and 70 million gallons of diesel, while two fuel shipments were also docked at port, Reuters reports.

The ministry stated that it was attempting to mitigate panic buying and that retail sales would resume normal operations.

However, oil sector insiders report that the central bank’s new restrictions requiring the conversion of foreign currencies to the local kyat currency have affected imports.

A joint statement issued on 8 April by foreign business chambers warned that the new currency laws could create “insurmountable challenges” for¬†enterprises operating in Myanmar.

Motorists queue for petrol.
Motorists queue for petrol.

Following the new regulations, importers have been unable to access US dollars to pay suppliers.

Petrol stations have limited the sale of fuel per vehicle to MMK 50,000, with prices in Yangon reaching MMK 1,890 per litre for regular petrol.

Faced with losses due to the artificial exchange rate, petrol stations have begun to close, causing the public to scramble to buy fuel.

Long queues stretching out into major roads have caused traffic jams in Yangon.