Business News of Tuesday, 14 March 2017
Fuel prices will fall by three per cent later in the month on the back of the drop of Brent crude, gasoline and gasoil prices on the world market, the Institute for Energy Security (IES) has projected.
According to IES, the first pricing window in the month of March 2017 closed with the market recording an increase in prices of petrol and diesel at the pump by all Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) as a result of the depreciation of the Ghana cedi against the dollar.
In a statement, IES noted that the national average retail price for petrol and diesel jumped 1.18% and 2.6% to GHS4.28 per litre and GHS4.21 per litre respectively.
IES, touching on the World Oil Market Prices Indices, stated: “Benchmark Brent crude price for the period under review dropped by 4.4 per cent to average $53.5 per barrel. This is as a result of a rise in U.S. shale production, which is threatening the output cuts by OPEC and major crude-producing nations. The Platts benchmark prices within the same period for gasoline dropped by 6.75 per cent while gasoil fell by 2.65 per cent. This left gasoline and gasoil prices on the world market closing at $530.63 per metric tonne and $472.48 per metric tonne respectively, from an opening of $560.69 per metric tonne for gasoline and $485.35 per metric tonne for gasoil.”
The statement, however, noted that Local Forex and Fuel Stock Figures from the banking sector indicates that the Ghana cedi performed relatively well against the U.S. dollar, by closing at GHS 4.52 against the opening rate of GHS4.55 per dollar. “The stock of gasoline and gasoil in the country hasn’t changed much from the first pricing-window, and capable of meeting just 25-days of fuel demand in the country,” it added.
On the back of the substantial drop in price of Brent crude, and that of both gasoline and gasoil on the world market, and the relative stability in the forex exchange, the statement said: “IES can comfortably project fuel prices on the local market to fall by at least 3%.”
To that end, IES appealed to the Oil Marketing Companies to effect the changes at the pump in line with the oil market fundamentals, and in the same manner they do effect upward adjustments when market variables so dictate.