Laos could face renewed fuel shortages if the current situation regarding foreign exchange is not quickly rectified, fuel companies have warned.
PTT Lao Limited, the Laos-based subsidiary of Thailand’s PTT Public Company, issued a notice to its customers today explaining that it is facing major problems due to issues exchanging foreign currency for fuel purchase.
In the notice, signed off by the company’s managing director, the fuel distributor says it has been forced to limit the volume of fuel it orders.
The notice reads, “Due to the current situation, PTT Lao Ltd and other fuel distributors are facing problems with foreign exchange for purchasing fuel products, a major issue that could soon lead to fuel shortages.”
The company goes on to say that it will do its utmost to ensure a stable flow of fuel despite the difficult conditions.
The continued depreciation of the Lao kip amid rising global oil prices has caused havoc for fuel distributors, who must import fuel from abroad in foreign currency and sell to consumers in the spiraling local currency.
Laos already faced months of nationwide fuel shortages in early 2022, with many petrol pumps closing down and long queues experienced at those that remained open.
As the fuel crisis came to a head, the government bailed out fuel companies with a line of credit, allowing fuel to enter the country once more.