Gasoline prices rise for fourth straight week
Gas prices have continued rising for a fourth week running.
According to Opinet, a website with oil price information from the Korea National Oil Corporation, the average gasoline price in Korea for the first week of June was 2,013.01 won ($1.61) per liter, 19.26 won higher than the previous week.
Gasoline and diesel prices have been rising for months as crude oil prices soared due to the Russia-Ukraine war. The loosening of the Shanghai lockdown and the European Union approval of sanctions on Russia also contributed to this week’s increase.
Prices were temporarily stabilized in the first week of May when the government raised the tax cut from 20 to 30 percent, leading gasoline prices to fall by 27.5 won compared to the previous week, from 1,968.23 won to 1,940.73 won.
Since then, however, prices have been inching up for four consecutive weeks.
In Seoul, the priciest region in the country, the per-liter price of gasoline was 2,087.18 won from May 29 to June 2, 23.19 won higher on week. The lowest price, which was in Daegu, increased by 21.85 won to stand at 1,988.26 won per liter.
Diesel was sold at 2,008.42 won per liter during the first week of June, 8.09 won higher than the week prior.
Until last year, diesel was typically 100 to 200 won cheaper than gasoline.
Diesel prices saw a rapid jump this year due to global supply chain disruptions and even surpassed the price of gasoline on May 11, before being overtaken again on May 28. The nationwide average price surpassed 2,000 won for the first time on May 24.
Compared to last year, the average price of diesel for the month of May skyrocketed by 45.8 percent. Gasoline prices jumped by 27 percent compared to May 2021.
Prices are likely to keep rising for the time being, according to a Korea Petroleum Association spokesperson.
“The prices of gasoline and diesel are on a rise globally so gas prices in Korea will also keep going up,” the spokesperson said. “It’s likely that the increase will continue as we’re not seeing any reasons to encourage a price cut.”
Dubai crude oil, the biggest oil import for Korea, was traded at $113 per barrel during the first week of June, $3.40 higher than the previous week. Global gasoline prices rose by $6.80 during the same period, standing at $148.30 per barrel.
BY HYEON YE-SEUL, YOON SO-YEON [firstname.lastname@example.org]