ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has lost 9,886 million rupees in the first two months of 2018, selling petrol, diesel and kerosene, as crude prices spiked, cabinet spokesman minister Rajitha Senaratne said.
"We are watching international prices," he told reporters. "We want to see whether the prices come down."
Sri Lanka was expected to implement a price formula by March 2018 prevent state finances from being de-stabilized.
The CPC has lost 2,968 million rupees on 92-Octane petrol, 303 million rupees on 95-Octane petrol, 4,319 million on auto diesel, 150 million on super diesel, and 2,147 million on kerosene.
Sri Lanka cut fuel prices after the new administration came to power as oil prices fell in 2015 and 2016.
Petrol was cut from 150 to 117 rupees a litre, 95-octane from 158 to 128, auto diesel from 111 to 95 and super diesel from 133 to 110 rupees a litre.
Kerosene was cut from 81 to 65 rupees on January 22. On January 29 it was cut to 59, on November 28 to 40 amid concerns over and that the price cuts to favoured politically powerful businesses that used kerosene to power factories. On October 2017 kero had been further cut to 44 rupees a litre.
Kerosene which is similar to jet fuel is usually the most expensive to import. Petrol is the cheapest.
CPC has since started to limit sales to bulk customers cracking down on hapless distributors who responded to price signals set by the state.
The kerosene price cuts undermined a key reform of the Rajapaksa administration which raised the price to reduce mis-use of the subsidized fuel by large industries and was an economic folly of the 2015 and 2016 budgets analysts say. (Colombo/Mar12/2018)