Puma under FX pressure


THE increase in global crude oil prices is adding pressure on Puma Energy’s foreign exchange requirements to also increase to import supplies, according to country manager Hulala Tokome.
Commenting on the hike in retail fuel prices for the month of June, which is likely to increase further, Tokome told The National that the company continues to engage with the Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) and commercial banks to provide much-needed foreign exchange.
“Fuel prices have continued to increase even though the Government’s relief continues to be in place,” he said.
“The excise and GST (goods and services tax) relief that the government has put in place is helping, but oil prices continue to be high.
“These global elements are beyond ICCC’s (Independent Consumer Competition Commission) control.
“(Thus) we will continue to see higher prices.
“This has caused our forex requirements to also increase to bring in supplies into the country.”
South Pacific (SP) Brewery managing director Ed Weggemans earlier told The National that foreign exchange was critical to businesses who had to pay their overseas suppliers.
“Foreign exchange is slow and availability is not abundant but is enough for us to pay for our raw materials so we can continue to operate,” Weggemans said.
“We are able to get foreign exchange that we need to continue our operations but the availability is slow and we hope it can increase in the future.
“It is critical because if we cannot pay our suppliers, we cannot trade in Kina.
“It is not an international currency so if we cannot pay our suppliers, they will stop supplying.
“And that’s a huge risk to our operations.”