Price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas to Rise Again in Kazakhstan

motor fuel

The Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan has published for public discussion, a draft by the Minister of Energy to increase the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from July 1.

The maximum wholesale price of one ton of LPG will be increased from the current 40,320 tenge to 45,158 tenge, and the maximum retail price will increase slightly — by 5-8 tenge per liter, depending on the region.

Cheaper than gasoline, LPG is the most popular fuel for vehicle owners in Kazakhstan. A sharp hike in the price of LPG was met with nationwide objection in January, triggering mass protests in Zhanaozen which spread nationwide and turned violent in Almaty and Astana.

The ministry issued several reasons for what will be an unpopular move.

First, the price of liquefied petroleum gas is much lower than the cost of its production. The production cost of LPG varies from 60 thousand to 70 thousand tenge per ton, whereas the current maximum wholesale price is 40,320 tenge per ton.

Second, LPG consumption in Kazakhstan increases year on year. In 2023, it increased by 400 thousand tons, or 28%, compared to 2022. Last year, LPG consumption volumes amounted to 2.2 million tons compared to 1.8 million tons in 2022. Increasing consumption and the unprofitability of LPG production due to low prices have led to a decrease in the production of the fuel and its shortage in the regions. Today the deficit of LPG stands at 20-25%.

Third, due to unprofitability, manufacturers are increasingly losing interest in LPG production and switching instead, to more profitable products. For the same reason, investors are also reluctant to invest in its production.

Fourth, the price of LPG in Kazakhstan, between 54-86 tenge per litre depending on the region, is the lowest among former Soviet states. For comparison, the price per litre in Russia is equivalent to 132 tenge; in Kyrgyzstan, 159 tenge; in Azerbaijan, 171 tenge; and in Tajikistan, 273 tenge.

According to analysts, in 2024, LPG consumption in Kazakhstan will increase by another 200 thousand tons and reach 2.4 million tons, leading to a potential shortage of 30-40%

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Times of Central Asia