Fuel prices likely to go up again
The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana, has forecast a likely 7-13 percent fuel price adjustment beginning Sunday October 16.
According to the Chamber, “the decision for cuts in OPEC production levels seem to have taken a toll on world price indexes as prices on the world market have surged by between 7-13% as of today. Trading between $51-$53.15/barrel from previous levels of $44-$46/barrel.
“These galloping movements are certain to have direct and dire consequences on local pump prices in a deregulated market in the next pricing window set to commence on the 16th of October,” a statement signed by the Executive Secretary of the Chamber Duncan Amoah Tuesday stated.
In the last few months fuel prices have gradually been increased to almost 15 percent due to the steady rise in Crude on the World market.
The statement added “the news of government decision yesterday to reduce marine gas oil by at least 20% is welcoming, just as the earlier decision in June to reduce the cost of aviation fuel by 25%.
“The two reduction efforts above gives Ghanaians and for that matter the chamber of petroleum consumers the confidence and an indication of every possibility of government adjusting downwards in same vein the levels of taxes on petrol and diesel to cushion both private and commercial road users.
“It is worth reminding government that it set for revenue purposes in the 2016 budget export prices of $53/barrel, which at the end of last year was hovering around $43/barrel that necessitated the introduction and passing of the energy 2015 energy sector levies Act, leading to an increase in fuel prices by up to 27%.
“It is our belief that government will as a matter of urgency reduce the tax levels to absorb the fast rising increases in prices of crude and products on the world market to forestall any imminent increases in pump prices. The price stabilization margin charge on petroleum products also needs to be be reviewed to be sensitive and to respond to the changing trends in prices and not treated as a revenue levy as is currently being applied across board.
“The chamber further re-emphasise the need for the national petroleum authority ( NPA ) to shelve the recent announcement on sulphur levels in diesel to one unified acceptable and safer standard instead of the announced 500ppm and 10ppm disparity for the same market.
“We believe it is a matter of priority at this stage in Ghana's downstream development process to make the necessary investments in the only refinery serving the country; the tema oil refinery, this has become even more urgent following the research by Public Eye/Acep on the hazards associated with high sulphur products on vehicles, the environment and public health, subsequent to which there's broader acceptance by the bdcs to import 10ppm immediately the standards are changed to reflect same.
“The cost of these high sulphur products on our markets cannot be tolerated any further and we will do anything neccesary to ensure safer standards and products are applied to the unsuspecting public. For the avoidance of doubt, 10ppm is 10ppm and not 10ppm or 500ppm as is currently being stipulated for coming January, 2017.
"Accepting the two simultaneously in one market will eventually lead to a net reduction in the quality being demanded, once we allow these two incomparable standards to co-mingle in the same market without any clear working plan.
“We further urge the repositioning of the only petrochemical laboratory currently at tema oil refinery together with its hard working technicians to be reassigned to an independent entity to protect the integrity of the testing process for all players in the petroleum downstream."