By Cassey Lee 1

Between July 2014 and January 2015, crude oil prices declined by more than 50 percent.

This situation is a worrying one for net oil-exporting countries in Southeast Asia such as Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam, that are exposed to short-term negative impacts on oil export revenues and fiscal balance.

In both Indonesia and Malaysia, the impact of lower oil prices on fiscal balance has been partly neutralized by recent fuel subsidy reforms.

Net oil importers with moderate to high intensity oil consumption such as the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore will gain from the lowering of input costs. 1 The author thanks Francis Hutchinson, Siwage Dharma Negara, Maxensius Tri Sambodo, Quah Boon Huat, Marc Foo, Ooi Kee Beng and Hal Hill for their comments and suggestions. The usual caveat applies. 2

The least affected economies will be those not producing oil and those with low intensity in oil consumption such as Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.


* Cassey Lee is Senior Fellow at ISEAS; e-mail: