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Sri Lanka: Hit From Oil Strike

Sri Lanka hit by oil strike

Sri Lanka imports most of its oil
Workers at Sri Lanka's main oil company have ended a two-day strike, held in protest at government plans to sell more of the company.
Last year, the Sri Lankan government sold one third of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (Ceypetco) to Lanka Indian Oil Corporation.

The government now plans to sell its remaining stake in the company.

In a separate development, Ceypetco raised retail fuel prices to reflect higher global oil prices.

Sri Lanka imports the bulk of its fuel and rising costs have hit Ceypetco hard.

US crude oil futures touched a 21-year record of $46.85 per barrel in overnight Asian trading.

The cost of crude oil has been boosted by increasing demand in the US and China, and by concerns about unrest in the Middle East.

Ceypetco raised petrol prices by 4.6% and diesel prices by 12.5% from midnight on Friday, the company said in a statement.

This is the second fuel price rise in Sri Lanka in recent months.

Fuel subsidies are forecast to cost the Sri Lankan government $117m this year.