Oil refiners deny the allegation from former finance minister Korn Chatikavanij that Thai people are being robbed as their oil refinery margin rose by 10 times over the past year.
The Petroleum Refinery Industry Club of the Federation of Thai Industries stated that Mr Korn referred to the very low oil refinery margin during the COVID-19 pandemic period (2020-2021) and using the unusually low base for comparison could mislead people into believing that the present margin was abnormally high.
If the oil refinery margin during a pre-COVID period from 2018 to 2019 was considered, it would show that the oil refinery margin which refineries received in the first quarter of this year went up by only about 0.47 baht per liter from a normal level. The margin did not soar by 10 times to eight baht per liter as alleged.
The Petroleum Refinery Industry Club said that oil refiners did not set the refinery margin but it depended on the supply and demand of crude oil and refined oil which resulted from global situations.
It also said that the refinery margin was not the profit of oil refineries and refineries had many expenses that had to be deducted before they came up with their earnings before taxes. (TNA)