|↑ 국내 액화석유가스(LPG) 수입업체인 E1이 LPG 공급가격을 인상하기로 결정하기로 밝힌 지난 1일 서울 강남구의 한 E1 LPG 충전소에 LPG 가격표가 표시돼 있다. [사진 = 박형기 기자]|
The price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which is called a ‘fuel for the common people’, reached the highest level in seven years since 2014. Despite the government’s oil tax cut, international oil prices rose and demand for heating fuel in winter increased, surpassing the cut in fuel tax for the first time in a month.
According to the industry on the 5th, LPG importers SK Gas and E1 increased the price of LPG supply by 165 won per kg last month, followed by an additional increase of 88 won this month. Accordingly, the price of propane for home and commercial use was raised to 1397.8 to 1399.4 won per kg and to 1404.4 to 1405.9 won for industrial use. Butane used as fuel for vehicles is 1720.4 to 1721.4 won.
On the 12th of last month, the price of LPG in Korea fell by 69.6 won per kg due to the government’s oil tax cut. The effect of the fuel tax cut disappeared after about a fortnight as 88 won rose more in one month.
The concentration of demand for heating fuel in winter had an impact on LPG price movement. Energy supply and demand in China, the world’s largest LPG consumer, is also unstable.
Domestic LPG prices have been on an upward trend since May of last year. The price of propane supply this month doubled compared to May of last year (692.8~699.4 won), and the price of butane supply rose by about 58.6%.
International LPG prices have also risen steadily since April last year amid the rising international oil prices, showing the highest level since the first half of 2014. International LPG product prices soared from $230 for propane and $240 for butane per ton in April last year to $870 and $830 per ton, respectively, last month.
However, the upward trend in LPG prices is expected to slow somewhat in the next month. Saudi Arabia’s state-run oil company, Aramco, recently notified domestic LPG importers SK Gas and E1 to cut propane and butane contract prices by 8.6% and 9.6%, respectively, in December to $795 and $750 per ton. The price cut for international LPG contracts is the first in seven months since May of this year.
[김현정 매경닷컴 기자]
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