|Fuel price roller-coaster ride|
|Written by Augetto Graig|
|Wednesday, 08 August 2012 19:51|
The average Namibian motorist’s roller-coaster ride on the Ministry of Mine’s and Energy’s fuel price adjustment path continues this week with a new twist and a jump up of about 35 cents per litre of petrol and 27 cents for diesel.Minister Isak Katali signed the official release last Friday, announcing the change in fuel prices effective as from Wednesday.
This latest move follows a mid-year breather, whereby the Minister authorised a second fuel price decrease in two months on 11 July when the petrol price dropped by 75 cents per litre and the diesel price fell by 50 cents per litre. This meant that the petrol price came down by more than N$1 per litre since May, while diesel became 62 cents cheaper per litre, at that time.
Nevertheless that decrease did little to stem the tide of ever-escalating fuel increases evident in the country since the turn of the century and the implementation of the Petroleum Products and Energy Amendment Act, 2000.
According to Katali, the latest increase brings the cost of fuel back in line with levels experienced at the start of the year. The reason provided for this week’s increase is that Brent crude oil prices have risen by more than a US dollar this month, trading at above US$100 in the Middle-East and countries along the Mediterranean. Namibia imports crude oil from those regions and has been further hit by the knock-on effects of new economic sanctions against Iran’s energy sector by the United States, as well as a decline in OPEC’s production.
“Geopolitical instabilities, such as the stand-off regarding Iran’s nuclear programme and instabilities in other regions have had strong impacts on oil futures and have again reversed current trends of comparatively low prices. Furthermore, there also appears to be no end in sight to the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan and a resumption of oil exports from the disrupted oil fields,” the minister explained. “In the local market, the exchange-rate between the Namibia dollar against the US dollar, in which crude oil is traded, strengthened during July, but this did not ease the burden of high fuel prices on consumers at all,” noted Katali. In effect, the new prices increase specifically by 35 cents for 93’ Octane lead-replacement petrol, 34 cents for 95’ Octane unleaded petrol, and 27 cents for diesel. The new pump prices at Walvis Bay are set at N$9.63 per litre of Octane, N$9.74 per litre for 95’ Octane unleaded petrol, and N$10.13 per litre for diesel. Pump prices at various inland destinations have been adjusted accordingly.