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Syria, Yemen raise oil products prices

A litre of petrol now costs 44 Syrian pounds (95 cents) per litre, up from 40 pounds.

September 22, 2010 9:12 by

The Syrian government on Tuesday announced a 10 percent hike in petrol prices following a spike in consumption and rising cost of subsidising other fuels while Yemen raised the prices of diesel, kerosene and gasoline as part of a plan to cut government subusidies.

An official statement in Damascus said a litre of petrol now costs 44 Syrian pounds (95 cents) per litre, up from 40 pounds. To ease the impact, annual license fees on passenger cars with engines below a three litre capacity have been waived.

Unlike gas oil and fuel oil, petrol is not subsidised in Syria, which produces 380,000 barrels per day of crude oil but does not have enough refining capacity to meet domestic needs.

The government has steadily raised petrol prices in the last several years but this has not cut consumption as decade-long bans on importing cars were lifted and car buying spiked.

In Yemen, diesel and kerosene prices rose 11 percent each and that of gasoline by 7 percent, according to an oil ministry official.

He told Reuters diesel and kerosene prices were both raised to 50 rials (23 cents) from 45 rials. The price of gasoline was increased to 75 rials per litre from 70 rials per litre.

Fuel subsidies are one of the biggest strains on cash-strapped Yemen’s finances. The slashing of subsidies in Yemen has led to violence in the past.

(Reporting by Khaled Oweis in Damascus and Mohamed Sudam in Sanaa; Writing by Martina Fuchs, Editing by Vera Eckert)

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