EPRA fails to Adjust Upwards the April-May Fuel Pump Prices
The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority(EPRA) has retained Diesel, Petrol and Kerosene’s price between 15th April and May 14th, 2021.
This is despite an increase in the landing cost of crude oil in March 2021.
The constant fuel prices can be viewed against a strengthening Kenya Shilling against the US dollar, meaning the country uses fewer Shillings to import crude oil.
The Kenya Shilling has been strengthening against the US dollar in recent months, from an exchange rate of Kes 110.52 in December 2020 to Kes 109.63 in March 2021.
When the forex markets opened this Thursday, 15th April 2021, the key CBK indicative exchange rate of the local unit against the US$ was 106.8059.
EPRA Action a relief to hard-pressed consumers
This action by EPRA provides much-needed relief to fuel consumers, including poor households, who depend on Kerosene for cooking and their lighting needs.
Public transport vehicles, which have been under pressure to hike fares owing to the rising cost of petrol and diesel, are also likely to go slow on fares due to less stress at the fuel pump.
In a statement, EPRA said Super petrol prices, Diesel and Kerosene remain at the same level as those announced last month.
Curiously, the fuel regulatory body did not give any explanations for holding fuel prices constant between April 15th to May 14th, 2021, when the subsequent fuel price adjustment is expected.
Figures from EPRA show that the average landed cost of imported Super Petrol increased by 9.27% from US$ 449.82 per cubic metre in February 2021 to US$ 491.50 per cubic metre in March 2021.
Diesel increased by 4.77% from US$ 423.95 per cubic metre to US$ 444.17 per cubic metre, while Kerosene increased by 7.29% from US$ 393.23 per cubic metre to US$ 421.90 per cubic metre.
The Free On Board(FOB) price of Murban Crude lifted in March 2021 was posted at US$ 65.16 per barrel, an increase of 5.76% from US$ 61.61 per barrel in February 2021.
Over the same period, the mean monthly exchange rate of the Kenya Shilling against the greenback appreciated by 0.04%, from Kenya Shilling 109.67 in February 2021 to Kes 109.63 in March 2021.
Available figures show that crude oil price hit a low US $ 17.64 per barrel in April 2020 after the first COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Kenya.
It has since been on a rebound to US$ 49.57 in December 2020, US$ 55. 27 in January 2021, US$ 61.61 in February 2021 and US$ 65.16 last month.