S Korean consumers suffer high gas prices

16:16, March 09, 2011      

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Soaring oil prices amid ongoing turmoil in the Middle East have taken a toll on the livelihoods of South Koreans as they have driven up fuel prices to a record high.

The average fuel price stood at 1,693.62 won (1.52 U.S. dollars) per liter at gas stations nationwide as of Oct. 9 last year. Gas prices, however, surged to 1,908.06 won as of March 7 due to skyrocketing global oil prices.

South Korea relies heavily on imports for its oil needs, making it vulnerable to rises in oil prices.

The country was the world's fifth-largest oil importer last year, reflecting its dependence on energy-intensive manufacturing.

Gas prices reach over 2,000 won at some gas stations, putting a great burden on ordinary citizens.

"Gas prices have risen so high, and they are over 2,000 won at some gas stations. The prices are so expensive compared to two or three years ago. I'm afraid to fill the car," said Yoon Seo-jin, a Seoul citizen.

The state-run Korea National Oil Corporation predicted that the rises in global oil prices and petroleum products would continue unless unrests ease in the Middle East resolves.

The price for Dubai crude, South Korea's benchmark, advanced to a record high of 111.18 dollars per barrel on Monday since September 1, 2008.

Source: Xinhua
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