Gov’t to announce measures to ease diesel price burden: finance minister

Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho said Thursday the government will soon announce measures to help ease the burden from a recent hike in diesel fuel prices.

Choo made the remarks during an interview with public broadcasting channel KBS, as the retail price of diesel fuel has outstripped that of gasoline for the first time in 14 years.

"Those who make a living from the freight sector are facing difficulties as the diesel price has outrun that of gasoline," Choo said.

"We are contemplating ways to ease their burden and will soon roll out the measures," he said.

The average diesel price at local gas stations stood at 1,947.60 won (US$1.53) per liter on Wednesday, while the gasoline's came to 1,946.10 won.

It marked the first time since June 2008 that the diesel price has outrun the gasoline price. The all-time high was 1,947.75 won recorded on July 16, 2008. In South Korea, diesel is normally cheaper than gasoline.

The surge in diesel price came amid a supply shortage of petroleum products following international sanctions on Russian petroleum products and other energy resources over its invasion of Ukraine.

The government's fuel tax cut, which took effect early this month, also pushed up the diesel price.

Source: Yonhap News Agency