The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in America has reached almost $3. That is up over 10% in a month. Because the Colonial Pipeline, which brings gasoline from Texas to much of the east coast, has been shuttered by a ransomware attack, the price will continue to rise due to shortages and panic buying. Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, commented to CNN, “Panicked buying is running stations in the region dry.” A number of nations have gas prices much higher than in the United States, and American drivers, to that extent, should count themselves as lucky.
GlobalPetroleumPrices puts the price of a gallon of gas in Hong Kong at $9.50. That is above the Netherlands at $8.18 and Norway at $7.90. In actuality, Hong Kong is part of China. It is labeled a “special administrative region,” which is an “inalienable” part of the country.
The South China Morning Post’s energy reporters write about the sky-high gas prices: “Industry observers say this is mainly due to surging land costs for building fuel stations, which have increased by more than 400 per cent in the past decade, thanks to Chinese oil companies’ rampant expansion.”
Supply and demand, in the classic sense, do not apply to Hong Kong. Its drivers log very few miles a year because Hong Kong only covers 427 square miles. By comparison, New York City covers 303 square miles. Plus, Hong Kong has a modern public transportation system.
Hong Kong suffers from a low supply of oil. China is the largest importer of crude in the world, a sign of a lack of production compared to consumption. Hong Kong’s government also puts large taxes on gasoline to discourage driving in the crowded region. The tax can run as high as $6 a gallon. By comparison, gas taxes across the OECD nations range from a high of $3.36 in the Netherlands to zero gas tax in Mexico.
Without the high gas tax in Hong Kong, its gas prices would be much closer to those in the United States.