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S. Korea's gasoline prices hit 8-year high amid Russia-Ukraine war

All News 11:08 March 10, 2022

SEOUL, March 10 (Yonhap) -- Gasoline prices in South Korea rose to the highest level in more than eight years Thursday as the deepening conflict between Russia and Ukraine pushes global oil prices higher amid growing supply concerns.

The average retail gas price had reached 1,904.35 won (US$1.55) per liter as of 9:10 a.m., up 11.95 won from the previous day, according to Opinet, a crude oil price provider run by the state-run Korea National Oil Corp.

It marks the first time since October 2013 the countrywide average has surpassed the 1,900-won mark. The highest-ever recorded was between August and October of 2012, when the figure had hit over 2,000 won per liter.

The latest surge in gasoline prices came as the Ukraine conflict has sparked fears over global oil supply disruptions, with Russia being one of the world's major exporters of oil and natural gas.

Although Russian oil accounts for less than 5 percent of the imported oil for South Korea, the intensifying tensions over the Ukraine crisis has added to concerns about disruptions in global oil supplies.

Last week, Seoul decided to extend the 20-percent fuel tax cuts by three months until end-July in a bid to ease consumer burdens and a build-up of inflationary pressure.

A 20 percent fuel tax cut translates to a reduction of 164 won per liter of gasoline and 116 won per liter of diesel at local gas stations. The government said a further cut could be possible depending on the oil price trend. The upper limit for a fuel tax cut is 30 percent.

The global crude market fell sharply overnight after the United Arab Emirates signaled more willingness in calling for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Plus members to boost oil output.

The West Texas Intermediate crude tumbled 12.1 percent to $108.70 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday (U.S. time). The Dubai crude, South Korea's benchmark, meanwhile, continued the volatile trading, rising about 4 percent to $127.86 a barrel.

Gasoline and diesel prices, in red and blue plates, respectively, are displayed at a local gas station in Seoul on March 9, 2022. (Yonhap)


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