Fuel prices cross the Sh200 mark in new Epra review

Fuel prices have crossed a record Sh200 mark for the first time in Kenya's history, with the rate rising by as much as Sh20 for every litre. The rise in fuel prices will hit at consumers in terms of cost of food and every other commodity that depends on such rates.

The government has shelved fuel stabilisation, prompting a spike in the September 15th to October 14th pricing cycle by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra). The prices of Super Petrol, Diesel and Kerosene have been revised upward by Sh16.96, Sh21.32 and Sh33.13, respectively per litre, to retail at Sh211.64, Sh200.9 and Sh202.61 in Nairobi

The big jump will have far-reaching consequences on households that are already feeling the pinch of increased taxes and generally, a tough economic environment.

In Mombasa, petrol will retail at Sh208.58, while diesel and kerosene will be sold at Sh198 and Sh200 respectively.

In Nakuru, a litre of petrol will cost Sh210.63, while diesel and kerosene will cost Sh200.40 and Sh202.01, respectively, the new EPRA rates show.

In Mandera, the far-flunk county with the highest ever prices in such review, petrol will retail at Sh226, diesel and kerosene at Sh215 and Sh217, respectively.

Before the new review, a litre of petrol was retailing at Sh194.68 in Nairobi, diesel has been selling at Sh179.67 and kerosene at Sh169.48.

In that review, Epra said that had it not stepped in to stabilise prices, the price of petrol would be retailing at a record Sh202.1 per litre, diesel would be retailing at Sh183.26 and kerosene at Sh175.22.

As at 8pm, Epra had not released the monthly fuel prices review that are in law set to be announced by 14th of every month. The subsidy was drawn from the Petroleum Development Levy Fund (PDLF).

In a presentation on Friday ahead of the release of pump prices, Epra Director-General Daniel Kiptoo said the high pump prices were outside of the government’s control.

Mr Kiptoo attributed the high prices to production cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) of at least 3.6 per cent of the global daily demand.

He said that sanctions on Russian ships following the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war has disrupted supply of the crucial commodity, a situation that has been worsened by increased demand for diesel and kerosene especially in Europe for heating ahead of winter.

The Epra boss also disclosed that Kenya has successfully renegotiated premiums with the three Gulf oil companies which are supplying the country fuel as part of the government-to-government oil import deal.

Mr Kiptoo said the government has managed to bring premium on petrol from $97.5 per metric tonne to $90, diesel premium to $88 from $118 and kerosene to $111.75 from $114.25.

“The government of Kenya has successfully renegotiated the government-to-government premiums,” he said.

Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu has raised questions about how the government used billions of shillings collected from taxpayers that were supposed to be used to subsidise fuel prices after officials failed to provide documents supporting the spending.

Ms Gathungu , in her audit report for the PDLF for the financial year to June 2022, revealed the Ministry of Petroleum, under which the Fund is administered, took Sh23.15 billion from the PDLF to subsidise fuel prices but failed to give any evidence as to how the funds were used.

A recent notice released by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum said the Fund collects about Sh2.2 billion monthly. High fuel prices have ensured that the rising cost of living continues to be a menace for Kenyans despite a recent ease in inflation primarily driven by a slight drop in food prices.

Inflation eased to 6.7 percent in August, which is the lowest since April last year when it averaged 6.47 percent.

According to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the cost of sugar has gone up by 61.4 percent over the past one year, that of beans has risen by 27.9 percent and that of maize flour and cooking oil has increased by 9.6 percent and 18.5 percent respectively.

Further, the cost of 50 units of electricity has jumped by 68.7 per cent, that of cooking gas has gone up by 12.7 per cent and diesel by 18 per cent underlining the tightening pressure that consumers are facing as prices continue to rise.