Serbia to cut household gas prices by 3.2 pct from Dec. 1
* Retail price to drop 3.2 pct, industry to pay 3.4 pct less
* State-owned gas firm struggling with debt as is government
BELGRADE Nov 1 (Reuters) - Serbian energy regulator AERS will cut retail gas prices on Dec. 1 by 3.2 percent, the first decrease since the government handed it pricing control last November, tracking lower prices for imported Russian gas as well as a weaker dollar.
Industrial consumers will pay 3.4 percent less.
Governments had pegged retail gas prices at below those paid by state-owned Srbijagas for Russian imports, and the gas company's chief executive said that that differential is to blame for losses of 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) this year.
"That is the price for social peace," Dusan Bajatovic told reporters on Friday.
However, he acknowledged that since September, when AERS approved an average increase of 4.4 percent for households and 5.7 percent for other consumers, retail prices have been above Russian gas costs.
The company wants 320 million euros from the government next year to service debt and to cover losses from unpaid gas deliveries. That would add to the Socialist-led coalition's task of capping debt at 65 percent of gross domestic product.
Serbia, which consumes about 3 billion cubic metres of gas a year, imports 90 percent of natural gas from Russia through Srbijagas, and AERS said on Friday that the cost of those imports had fallen by 3.6 percent. ($1 = 0.7414 euros) (Editing by Louise Ireland)
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