News / Asia

Higher Oil Prices Raise Concerns About Inflation in Asia-Pacific Region

A worker counts Indian currency at a fuel station in Mumbai, India, 30 Dec 2010
A worker counts Indian currency at a fuel station in Mumbai, India, 30 Dec 2010

Global oil prices are rising rapidly, pushed by increased global demand and a weaker U.S. dollar.

In Asian markets this week, oil topped $91 a barrel, and there are forecasts it will rise to $100 within weeks. In September oil traded at $75 a barrel.

The rapid climb in prices comes even though several major economies, especially the European Union, still grapple with weak economies.

Jason Feer is an analyst with Argus Media, an oil and energy sector intelligence broker. He says several factors are driving the rise, especially demand for heating oil during the northern winter and recent strikes in France that had closed refineries and cut North Atlantic supplies.

Expectations of strong demand in Asia, where economies are growing steadily, and rising demand in the United States add to the price pressures.

"The economic data there seems to be a general consensus that U.S. economic activity is not as badly affected as it was before and you might see some increased demand there. And certainly Asian countries have really weathered the great recession pretty well. So demand has held up in Asia," Feer said. "I think probably a lot better than most people expected. So it's a classic supply and demand [situation]."

Market analysts say the weak U.S. dollar also boosts prices, since oil is traded in dollars. There are forecasts the dollar could weaken further in 2011 because of the U.S. trade and budget deficits.

The aviation industry is preparing for higher fuel costs.

Albert Tjoeng is the manager of corporate communications in Asia for the International Air Transport Association. He says higher fuel costs will lift the industry's energy bill to $156 billion globally in 2011 from $139 billion this year.

"Looking specifically at oil … for the industry because of the higher fuel costs and lower GDP [gross domestic product] projected for next year we're looking at a lower profit projection of $9.1 billion for 2011 for the industry," he said.

Higher fuel costs, along with rising prices for other commodities, such as grain, are raising concerns of inflation in Asia.

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific says higher fuel and food prices particularly will hit the poor in the region - 950 million people - the hardest.

Still, in a recent report, UNESCAP says overall inflation will not be enough to snuff out economic growth in Asia's developing economies, which it forecasts will expand by about 7 percent next year. That forecast is down from estimated growth of 8.3 percent in 2010.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid