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Thai Oil Refiners Deny Profiteering Off Crude Crisis

Thailand PTT oil refinery gasoline diesel

Thai oil refiners are denying they’re profiteering off the current surge in fuel prices, saying a former finance minister’s claim that profits had increase 10-fold is a lie.

Kia Party head Korn Chatikavanij asserted Thais are being robbed by oil refineries that has seen profit margins jump 1,000% in the past year.

The Petroleum Refinery Industry Club of the Federation of Thai Industries countered that Korn based his accusation on extremely low refinery margins during the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic and comparing even normal margins to that misleads people into believing that present profits are abnormally high.

If the margin during 2018-2019 was considered, it would show that margins in the first quarter of this year went up by only about 0.47 baht a liter from a normal level, not 8 baht a liter as Korn claimed.

The club said that refiners did not set the margin, but depended on the supply and demand of crude oil and refined oil which resulted from global situation.

It also said that the refinery margin was not the profit of oil refineries and refineries had many expenses that had to be deducted before they came up with their earnings before taxes.