There was a wave of panic regarding a fuel shortage in Myanmar on 19 April when rumours began to spread of the announcement by Shwe Byain Phyu, the local corporation that took over the Norway-based Telco Telenor that its gas station operations would be limited.
The reason for this rumour was what news media called a ‘chokehold on the US dollar enforced by the Central Bank of Myanmar, allegedly restricting the ability to purchase imported fuel.’
This was emphatically denied by the Ministry of Electricity and Energy in the country as Myanmar claims to have 45 million gallons of petrol and 70 million gallons of diesel in their Thilawa fuel storage facility, along with two tankers docked at the port.
By 20 April operations were back to normal and fuel trucks were able to leave Thilawa terminals.
The Minister of Commerce, U Nyunt Aung, concluded that the panic was due to the confusion caused by the Central Bank of Myanmar’s new foreign currency policy.