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Kenyan need to worry about worry fuel prices

12 April 2012, 07:52 Philip Kithome

Kenyans have a right to worry with the impending expectations of  a high jump in fuel price increment during the next review by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

This could be due to the significant increase in the cost of international crude oil in the last month. According to close investigations, Free on Board prices for unleaded premium are up 7.75 percent on average from $1057.67 per Metric Tonne (MT) to $1139.60.The aviation jet fuel and jet kero (kerosene)has been gauged on average up to 2.92 percent from $1,047.25 per MT to $1,074.26 per MT and 2.84 percent to $1068.40 respectively

Free on Board prices for Murban crude lifted in March 2012 saw an increase of 5.44 percent from $120.45 per barrel (to $127) for crude lifted in February.Murban crude accounts for over 90 percent of the country’s crude imports and therefore has a direct impact on the local retail prices.

A litre of super petrol has been retailing at Sh111.69 since March 15 after going up by 37 cents. The price may hold until April 14 when the regulator is expected to announce the new prices. It is however worth pointing out that ERC price caps take into consideration many determining factors including cost of the products and other incurred costs and also looks at the average price of crude oil in the last two months. The exchange rate is also a factor.

According to Analysts,the shilling having been stabilised  in March, it is unlikely to lessen the direct hit on Kenyan motorists.
The local unit strengthened by 0.40 percent against the dollar between February and March from an average of 83.10 in February to 82.80 the following month.

In addition,the reason as to why fuel prices is likely to go up is because of the two inputs that are critical in determining the price of fuel which is a raw material that’s gone up by about 4.8 percent. At the same the Kenya shilling relative to the US Dollar has strengthened by a margin of 0.40 percent so the pull factors are more that the push factors and therefore the expectation that fuel prices are going to go up in the next fixing.

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