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July 28, 2020

Despite Seeing Large Price Rollbacks, Pinoys Still Can't Afford Fuel

If there’s one positive outcome due to the pandemic, it’s cheaper fuel pump prices. Released by Picodi, an online aggregator of discount codes and deals, fuel prices in the Philippines dropped by a staggering 14.4 percent in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

In 11 out of 16 considered Asia-Pacific countries, petrol prices in the first half of the year 2020 were lower than in 2019. The largest decrease was noted in Malaysia (−19 percent), Vietnam (−18.4 percent), Thailand (−17.7 percent), and the Philippines (−14.4 percent).

A lower drop was noted in Japan (−5.5 percent), New Zealand (−4.9 percent), and Singapore (−4.5 percent). Interestingly, in countries like South Korea, India, Pakistan or Hong Kong, the prices of petrol noted a moderate increase (0.4 to 1.8 percent), and in Sri Lanka petrol went up by as much as 3.4 percent.

Overall, Malaysians can enjoy the cheapest fuel in the APAC region where the average fuel price in the country, converted from ringgit to U.S. dollar is 38 cents. Hong Kong pays the most at USD 2.22.

Picodi contrasted the average prices of petrol in the first half of the year 2020 with the latest data on average salaries. For the second year in a row, Australians can boast of the best fuel price to average salary ratio. Malaysia placed second, the average pay in this country allows its citizens to buy 2,135 liters. New Zealand completes the top three with 2,082 liters.

Despite seeing fuel price drop though, in the Philippines the average Filipino can buy 333 liters of fuel with their pay putting the country in 13th place (based on average monthly net wage of P 15,209 and an average fuel price of P 45.65 per liter). This means the country was outpaced by both India (434 liters) and Pakistan (351 liters).

Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia took the last three places. The average salary in these countries is worth 314, 300, and 250 liters respectively.

In the world ranking, top positions are taken by Persian Gulf countries. In Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait, you could buy from 5,112 to 8,210 liters of petrol for the average pay. It is worth noting that Kuwaitis can afford 139 liters less than last year. On the other hand, in 2020 Saudis and Qataris can buy around 4,933 and 1,605 liters more.

The worst situation was noted in Cuba where the average salary is equal to the price of only 28 liters (an increase of 2 liters). Despite the fact that Tajikistan and Zambia accompany Cuba in the lower part of the ranking, their citizens can afford even seven times more petrol than Cubans (151 and 219 liters respectively).

It turns out that being an oil tycoon does not always mean easier access to petrol for the citizens. Nigeria, for example, produces the biggest amounts of petrol in Africa. Despite the lowest price of petrol in the whole world (USD 0.34), the relatively low average salary (USD 182) does not allow Nigerians to buy many liters of petrol — just 539. It is similar to the European oil heaven, Russia. In a country which is the second biggest oil producer in the world, for the average salary you can afford only 919 liters.

Another interesting fact is the situation in Venezuela. In this South American country, there are limits which allow buying only 120 liters of petrol per capita in a month for the price amounting to around 0.025 U.S. Dollar per liter. Once the limit is exceeded, petrol can be bought only at the “market” price which is 0.5 dollar per liter, and only at 200 petrol stations in the country. Picodi’s calculations show that the average salary in Venezuela is enough for just 148 liters of petrol (120 liters subsidized and 28 liters fully paid), which is a drastic difference compared to theoretical 14 billion liters from the last year.

Source: Picodi

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