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Saudi Arabia to increase domestic petrol prices by 80 percent

Saudi Arabia has some of the lowest domestic petrol prices in the world [AFP]

Date of publication: 18 September, 2017

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Saudi Arabia motorists might have to pay 80 percent more at petrol pumps, as Riyadh looks at ways to find its continued budget deficit.
Saudi Arabia could boost domestic petrol prices by 80 percent, as Riyadh tries to reduce its burgeoning budget deficit.

Riyadh will begin to raise prices of octane-91 grade petrol, before other forms of gasoline are increased next year, Bloomberg reported.

The rise will see domestic petrol prices roughly in-line with the international market, the source who wished to remain anonymous told the website.

Saudis have enjoyed some of the world's lowest petrol prices with motorists paying just 24 cents per litre at the pump, compared to around 77 cents in the US and $1.62 in the UK.

Subsidies on petrol have eaten into the Saudi coffers, as low oil prices continue to hit the economy hard with Riyadh running a $12.4 billion deficit in the second-quarter of 2017.

Saudi Arabia has tried to limit oil production to increase prices, but signs suggest that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's diversification drive is not going to plan as some of the government's ambitious economic targets are dropped.

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