Global Propane Price Check: Saudi Price Hike Ripples Across Asia

Several Asian countries are facing steep propane prices after Saudi Aramco (above) raised the contract price to a record high this month. (image: alkanani via flickr.com)

Propane prices have surged to record highs across Asia this week, after the Saudi state-owned oil company increased the price of the fuel, according to several reports.

Stories out of South Korea and Pakistan are saying that Saudi Aramco raised the contract price on propane more than 14 cents a gallon this month, breaking the previous high from January. Prices for butane, propane’s hydrocarbon cousin, were up almost 22 cents a gallon.

And with prices for Saudi LPG spiking, the energy markets in both countries are braced for trouble. South Korean authorities have advised gas distributers to freeze prices — as they have been for the past four months — though it appears the price hike will be passed on to customers. In Pakistan, rising prices have already cut sales by more than a third and prompted warnings that LPG could become a gas for just the rich.

“This is the highest ever international and local price of LPG in the history,” one Pakistani official told the country’s Daily Times.