Unstable shilling pushes up fuel prices

The cost of importing petroleum products will continue falling or remain stable, notwithstanding the price increases in the domestic and international markets.

According to the Petroleum Importation Coordinator (PIC), the import cost per metric tonne of fuel has dropped to 37.33 US dollars in the 13th tender from the seventh tender’s 71.46 US dollars.

But, the cap retail fuel prices for September 2013, released by the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) in Dar es Salaam, have increased by between 1.13 and 2.79 per cent as compared to last month.

The retail prices of petroleum products have increased by 2.79 per cent while diesel has recorded a slight increment of 1.13 per cent.

Residents of Lugufu town in Kigoma’s Uvinza will pay the highest prices on fuel, with a litre of petrol, diesel and kerosene rising to 2,397/-, 2,303/- and 2,244/-, respectively, from last month’s 2,339/-, 2,280/- and 2,205/-.

Similarly, at Ruberwa town in Kyerwa district, the retail prices for petrol, diesel and Kerosine have jumped to 2,391/-, 2,297/-, 2,238/- per litre, respectively, compared to 2,333/-, 2,274/- and 2,199/- prices of August.

While residents in the two towns and few other areas in the borders to pay high prices, Dar es Salaam residents will enjoy the lowest prices in the country although there has been a slight price hike to 2,154/-, 2,060/- and 2,001/- per litre of petrol, diesel and kerosene, respectively, compared to 2,096/-, 2,037/- and 1,962/- of the previous month.

PIC General Manager Michael Mjinja told the ‘Daily News’ in Dar es Salaam that the slight increase of price in the domestic market will not affect the price stability.

“Since the beginning of the Bulk Procurement System (BPS), the premiums (costs of imports) offered by oil companies in the tender process have been declining.

This is a positive sign that fuel prices will remain stable in the local market,” said Mr Mjinja.

EWURA’s Public Relations Manager Titus Kaguo attributed the slight price rise in the local market to price increase in the world market as well as the shilling instability at the time of quoting the prices for the tender.

Mr Kaguo said the BPS has helped in controlling the prices of retail fuel, describing the slight price hike as temporal.

“With BPS, there will be no greater impact on the retail fuel prices despite the present political instability in some giant oil producers in the Middle East,” he said.
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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