Drivers welcome oil drop

Although 2014’s worldwide fall in crude oil prices has brought some relief for those filling their tanks in Yangon, local taxi drivers say they are yet to see as much of a price drop as expected.

“It’s better than before, but I’m still not too happy that local prices haven’t dropped much in Myanmar,” said U Soe Min Myo, a Bahan township taxi driver.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate lost 46 percent of its value last year, ending 2014 at US$53.27 a barrel. The oil market’s year saw the steepest fall in prices since the 2008 financial crisis as a global supply glut lockstepped with slowing economies.

Rising US and Canadian oil production has contributed to ample global supplies at a time of slowing growth in China, the world’s largest energy consumer, and other emerging-market economies, a recession in Japan and a near-stall in the 18-nation eurozone.

While crude prices are not the sole factor in determining the cost of petrol at fuel stations, they are perhaps the most important part of the equation. Local users say prices at petrol stations have been on the decline – down from K830 to K730 in the last two weeks for regular fuel, according to drivers.

Taxi driver U Thant Zin Myo said he welcomed the price decrease, adding he buys his petrol from the Max Myanmar station on Thein Phyu Road near Kandawgyi Lake as it has a reputation for quality.

Motorcycle taxi driver U Than Win, who works in Yangon’s outskirts in Thingangyun township, said his daily income has been helped considerably by the price drop.

“Traffic jams are decreasing and it’s hard to get a reasonable fare,” he said. “But now because of the price, my daily income isn’t so bad.”


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