ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s liquid petroleum (LP) gas suppliers complain of another cooking gas shortage in the market as the gas duopoly is unable to open letters of credit (LCs) due to a prevailing foreign exchange crisis.

Officials of the two gas companies, the privately owned Laugfs and state-run Litro, confirmed the shortage, adding that they are still not able to open LCs even after the country floated the rupee.

“When I called the gas company they didn’t even accept my order,” Premachandra, a Litro gas dealer based in Kalutara told EconomyNext.

Premachandra said he gets his supply every Tuesday and Friday and that it finishes “then and there” but now he doesn’t have any stock left.

Another Litro Gas dealer in Bentota said: “There is a new scam with the gas transporters. They see the queues outside the shop and sell our consignment in front of us from their lorry and do not deliver the goods after the order is made. It’s a loss for us. We have spent so much just to have empty cylinders in our store.”

Gas companies in the country have been complaining about local banks not opening LCs to clear gas shipments.

Sri Lanka’s private gas supplier Laugfs Gas controls around 20 percent of the LP gas market while the state-owned Litro supplies 80 percent.

Laugfs said it needs on average 15-30 million US dollars per month to import gas. (Colombo/Mar16/2022)