Business News Fri, 25 Mar 2022

Fuel prices likely to drop by 1.6% from April 1

The ex-pump prices of petrol and diesel are likely to drop by 1.6 per cent from April 1, 2022, following a decision by the Government to reduce the margins on fuel by 15 pesewas per litre for the next three months.

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Thursday, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, announced a reduction in the BOST margin by 2 pesewas per litre and the Unified Petroleum Pricing Fund Margin by 9 pesewas per litre.

He said the Fuel Marking Margin has been reduced by 1 pesewa per litre while the Primary Distribution Margin has also been reduced by 3 pesewas per litre.

The reduction, he said, formed part of sweeping measures to stabilise prices at the pumps, and would take effect on April 1, 2022.

“These reductions in margins are expected to reduce prices of petrol by 1.6% and diesel by 1.4%. We anticipate that the measures taken to strengthen the currency will help further stabilize the prices at the pump,” he said.

The ex-pump price for petrol and diesel currently stands at an average GHC 9.70 and GHC 10.80 per litre respectively.

Barring any change in the major variables that influence fuel prices (cedi depreciation and cost of crude on the international market), the 15 pesewa reduction on the selected margins could result in petrol and diesel selling at an average GHS9.55 and GHS 10.65 per litre respectively in the next pricing window.

Mr Ofori-Atta said the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) was in discussion with the oil marketing companies (OMCs) to reduce their margins “within the spirit of burden-sharing.”

Per the current price build-up for petroleum products, OMCs are entitled to a margin of 46 pesewas marine gas oil and gas oil to the mines.

Mr Ofori-Atta blamed the rising cost of fuel at the pumps on what he described as the rise in crude oil prices on the international market and the depreciation of the cedi.

He said though the rise in crude oil prices should have been to the benefit of the nation, Ghana’s import of petroleum products amounted to 5.2 times the value of the proceeds from its crude oil exports.

“In 2022, we exported $3.947.70 billion of which Ghana’s portion was $513 million. However, we imported $2.719 billion of crude oil and finished products. The purported windfall gain in foreign exchange is a mirage,” he said.

As of January 1, 2022, both petrol and diesel were trading at an average GHS6.30 per litre at the pumps.

Before March 1, 2022, the rate had increased to an average GHS7.50 per litre, representing an increment of 8.6 per cent in the previous pricing window.

There had been persistent agitations among the public and the business community on the negative impact of the fuel price hikes on the cost of living and the cost of doing business in the country.

The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), which had increased transport fares by 15 per cent last month, has proposed an additional 20 per cent increment to sustain their businesses.

Currently, there are 12 taxes/levies and margins on petroleum products, accounting for about 40 per cent of the total price build-up.

It includes the Energy Debt Recovery Levy, 49p; Road Fund Levy, 48p, Energy Fund Levy, 1p, Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy 14p; Sanitation and Pollution Levy, 10p; Energy Sector Recovery Levy, 20p; Special Petroleum Tax, 46p, and Primary Distribution Margin, 11p.

The rest are BOST Margin, 9p; Fuel Marking Margin, 5p; Marketers’ Margin 46p, and Dealers (Retailers/Operators) Margin, 30p.

Source: GNA
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