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Oil fund not to shoulder oil price more than 4 months

BANGKOK, 1 June 2009 (NNT) – Energy Minister MD Wannarat Channukul affirmed that the rising price of oil depended on the global marketing mechanism while stating that the oil fund could only shoulder the oil price for not more than four months.

The Energy Minister said the current rising oil price was according to the global market price mechanism. He stated that the Ministry was managing appropriately and would not increase money collection for the oil fund, which was earlier reduced to help shoulder the rise of the Government’s gasoline excise tax of two baht per litre.

The increasing price resulted from OPEC’s stance to maintain its production, after it has was constantly reduced. On the other hand, the demand of benzene is also rising during summer in Europe and the US. In addition, the positive expansion of Chinese and Indian economies are driving up the price of oil as well.

MD Wannarat said the fund could not help bear this problem forever, citing that each month the fund had to take care of about four billion baht and could shoulder oil price at most for four months. He said people needed to save energy consumption too.

Last year, Thailand’s imported energy accounted for 19.5 percent of national GDP, valued at 1.1 trillion from the total imports of 5.9 trillion baht, which was the most important factor leading to Thailand’s trade deficit.

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