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Thai Energy Ministry delays LPG price hike

Thailand's Energy Ministry will not raise liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices for vehicles, as financial markets had expected, pending a review of the impact of raising energy costs.

“We won't hold a meeting or announce an increase in LPG prices on July 1. This month, we will review the readiness of everything,” top Energy Ministry official Pornchai Rujiprapha told reporters.

A shortage of LPG at filling stations has raised suspicions that some vendors are hoarding supplies.

The domestic price for LPG was fixed last year at 18.13 baht per kg but the government said it would float the price in July. It did not set a specific date.

Surging oil prices pushed LPG demand higher after motorists turned to it as an alternative.

Thailand was expected to import 200,000 tons of LPG this year, a total that could rise to 500,000-1,000,000 tons in 2009, Pornchai said. (Reuters)