8 December 2018

East Africa Hit By Rise in Petrol Prices

Motorists in the region will have to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for petrol, diesel and kerosene.

For Tanzania and Uganda prices have been steadily rising since October.

For the past two months in Tanzania, petrol, diesel and kerosene increased by Tsh39.68/litre ($0.01721) equivalent to 1.75 per cent, Tsh50.22/litre ($0.02178) equivalent to 2.22 per cent and Tsh87.48/litre ($0.03794 (equivalent to 4.06 per cent), respectively.

In Uganda, the price of petrol rose by Ush50 ($0.01332), and diesel by Ush30 ($0.00799).

Tanzania's Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (Ewura), which regulates fuel prices monthly said it had imposed another oil price increase that takes effect on Wednesday.

Retail prices of petrol, diesel and kerosene increased by Tsh40/litre ($0.01735) equivalent to 1.66 per cent, Tsh50/litre ($0.02169) equivalent to 2.11 per cent and Tsh88/litre ($0.03817) equivalent to 3.85 per cent, respectively this December.

Following the increase in global crude oil prices, the Energy Regulatory Commission of Kenya announced in November an adjustment in petrol, diesel and kerosene prices by Ksh2.38 per litre ($0.02303), Ksh3.11 ($0.03009) and Ksh2.99 ($0.02893) respectively from November to December 14.

Similarly, the Ewura statement explains that "The change in local prices of petroleum products is mainly due to changes in the world oil market prices and bulk procurement system premiums."

Analysts in Uganda have cited the depreciation of the shilling against the dollar, which is steadily gaining against the shilling as another reason for the increase.

Since November 21, trading has been at Tsh2,306 to the dollar compared with Tsh2,285 on November 6.

Ugandan consumers currently buy petrol at Ush4293 ($1.14366) per litre and diesel at Ush4,004 ($1.06667) per litre.

In October, the world market price of petrol increased to $707 per tonne, $721 per tonne for diesel and $757 per tonne for kerosene.

However, there is substantial difference in prices in various East African countries on account of the various taxes and subsidies on fuel.

However, according to the World Bank statistics, Tanzania despite of having lowest fuel price in region also is the second highest country with GDP per capita purchasing power parity after Kenya.

Uganda has the lowest diesel prices in the region.

This month, Dar es Salaam consumers will pay more at Tsh2,436 ($1.056) for a litre of petrol, diesel at Tsh2,368 ($1.027) up from last month's Tsh2,396 ($1.039) for a litre of petrol, Tsh2,385 ($1.034) on diesel and Tsh2,280 ($0.99) for a litre of kerosene.

However, the prices in the North (Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Manyara and Tanga regions) will remain unchanged as there was no new fuel consignment in November.

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