October 24, 2018 / 12:31 AM / in 21 days

S.Korea to cut fuel tax by 15 pct to ease oil price burden - ministry

SEOUL, Oct 24 (Reuters) - South Korea will cut domestic transport fuel taxes by 15 percent for six months from Nov. 6 to ease the burden of rising global oil prices on households and small businesses, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.

The gasoline fuel tax will drop by 111 won per litre to 635 won ($0.5589) per litre. The diesel fuel tax will fall to 450 won a litre from the current 529 won per litre, the ministry said in a statement.

The government will also lower fuel taxes on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and butane by 28 won to 157 won per litre.

The temporary tax cut will amount to a 2 trillion won ($1.76 billion) reduction in tax revenue for the government over the next six months, the statement said.

Retail prices for gasoline and diesel have been rising for 16 straight weeks, according to data from the state-run Korea National Oil Corp, reflecting high global oil prices which now stand at just below $80 per barrel.

As of Tuesday, the average retail price for gasoline and diesel was 1,690 won a litre and 1,495 won a litre respectively, according to KNOC data.

In the first nine months of 2018, demand for diesel eased 0.7 percent to 124.7 million barrels from the same period a year ago, while gasoline demand rose 1 percent to 60.2 million barrels, KNOC data showed. ($1 = 1,136.1100 won) (Reporting By Jane Chung; editing by Darren Schuettler)

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