Motorists get January blues reprieve as fuel pump prices fall

The pump prices of fuel have gone down to new record lows.

The energy sector regulator yesterday reduced the

Consumers of diesel, a major component in the manufacturing and transport value chains, were the biggest winners, with the fuel falling by Sh10 a litre. It will now retail at Sh102.24 a litre for the next month in Nairobi.

SEE ALSO :Electricity tariff cut saves consumers from high inflation

Super petrol also registered a significant drop of Sh9 a litre and will retail at Sh104.21, a 14-month low. 

Consumers of kerosene, which is largely used by poor households for cooking and lighting, will, however, enjoy little reprieve, with the fuel falling by a paltry Sh3.52 to retail at Sh101.70 a litre in the capital.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) attributed the drop in pump prices to sustained low prices of oil in the international markets.

The development is likely to reverse the declining consumption of fuel in the country due to a surge in prices last year in the wake of an eight per cent value added tax on petroleum products.

The slight reduction in the pump price of kerosene, otherwise known as the poor man’s fuel, will come as a big blow considering the higher tax regime it was subjected to last year, including more excise duty and new anti-adulteration levy.

SEE ALSO :Why serviced apartments are a hit

The prices announced yesterday, which will be in place till February 14, are in comparison to last month, where retail prices in Nairobi reached Sh113.54 for a litre of super petrol, Sh112.28 for diesel and Sh105.22 for kerosene.

ERC attributed the drop in prices to the reduced cost of imported petroleum products.

“The changes in this month’s prices have been as a consequence of the average landed cost of imported super petrol decreasing by 14.87 per cent from $694.19 per tonne in November 2018 to $590.92 per tonne in December, diesel decreasing by 14.71 per cent from $722.17 per tonne to $615.97 per tonne and kerosene decreasing by 8.62 per cent from $678.57 per tonne to $620.05 per cent,” said the energy industry regulator in a statement.

Global oil prices are currently trading at lows last seen in October 2017 at $60 a barrel.

Last year, oil prices rallied to peak at $84 per barrel before dropping to $52 towards the end of December before going up slightly to the current $60 per barrel level.

SEE ALSO :More cash in the pocket as ERC cuts fuel prices

Low uptake

The shilling, the other major factor in determining the retail price of petroleum products, remained stable in December, trading at about Sh102.5 against the US dollar and strengthening towards the end of the month to under Sh102, a level that it has maintained to date.

According to the latest data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Kenyans consumed 162,570 tonnes of diesel in September, a 23.4 per cent decline from the 212,370 tonnes that was used in August.

A 26 per cent decline was seen in the uptake of super petrol at 92,880 tonnes in September from 126,000 tonnes consumed in August.

Usage of kerosene dropped by 32 per cent to 16,800 tonnes in September from 24,980 tonnes in August.

SEE ALSO :Fuel shortage hits Kakamega

This had stoked fears of some industries stagnating as they grappled with higher cost of doing business.

The manufacturing and transport sectors are dependent on diesel.

Energy Regulatory CommissionKenya National Bureau of Statistics