Motorists get slight reprieve as petrol drops by Sh5, diesel by Sh2

An attendant fuels a vehicle at a petrol station located along Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Motorists were Thursday handed slight reprieve after pump prices reduced after months of steady climb

Beginning this morning, the retail price of super petrol will drop by Sh5 to Sh212.36 per litre in Nairobi. The cost of diesel will reduce to Sh201.47 per litre, a drop of Sh2, while kerosene will retail at Sh199.05 in Nairobi, a decline of Sh4.01.

The drop, however, falls short of expectations by many Kenyans, who were hopeful of bigger drop to under Sh200 per litre of petrol like their counterparts in many East African cities.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) said the lower prices were on account of a reduction in the cost of petroleum products in the international markets. The drop may have been higher were it not for the shilling that weakened further against the US dollar.

“In the period under review, the maximum allowed pump price for super petrol, diesel and kerosene decrease by Sh5 per litre, Sh2 per litre and Sh4.01 per litre respectively,” said Epra.

It is the largest drop of fuel prices since October 2021.

Epra, in explaining how it arrived at the pump prices, said while the average cost of murban crude oil rose to $93.92 per barrel on average in November, up from $87.28 per barrel in October, the cost of refined petroleum products had reduced.

The local currency, however, posted a further slide against the US dollar, trading at Sh157.52 to the dollar on average in November up from Sh155.64 in October.

Epra has in the past said it uses the exchange rates quoted in the market as opposed to what is published by the Central Bank of Kenya in determining  the retail prices. 

“The average landed cost for imported super petrol decreased 16.11 percent, diesel decreased by 5.43 per cent, while kerosene decreased by 6.63 per cent,” said Epra.

Epra noted that some of the savings that super petrol users could have made were used to subsidise diesel users so as to cushion the economy that heavily relies on diesel.

Industries such as transport, manufacturing and agriculture rely on diesel to power their operations but also to transport raw materials to their premises and finished products to market.

“The price of diesel has been cross subsidised with that of super petrol in order to cushion the economy. The government has opted to stabilise the resultant diesel price,” said Epra in its price capping guide for the December-January cycle published yesterday.

Opposition chief Raila Odinga earlier this week said he expected nothing less than a reduction of Sh50 a litre, commensurate to the drop in the international price of petroleum products.

Human rights lobby, Kituo Cha Sheria, on Monday lodged a case at the High Court in which it questioned Epra’s decision to retain the cost of petrol and diesel above Sh200 despite drop in global prices.

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