Kenya pump prices shoot up

July 6, 2009
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, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 6 – Fuel pump prices have shot up by over eight shillings in the last four days, with oil industry players warning of even higher prices in the next few months.

A spot check by Capital Business revealed that pump prices at most filling stations were ranging between Sh80 and Sh83 for super and Sh70 and Sh73 for diesel.
 
Different industry players attributed the sudden hike in prices to a reflection of the rise in international crude prices.

“Most companies have been selling old stock acquired in the last quarter when prices were low but must have completed that stock now,” the industry source said.

The player who did not want to be quoted, further warned that prices would rise a bit further gradually.

“A rise from $44 to $71 per barrel in early June is an almost 80 percent increase and simply cannot be ignored,” the person said.

He however said the prices will finally plateau at the range of Sh80 per litre of super and Sh70 for diesel.

“I am almost sure these prices will not go as low as they had gone a few months ago, this is because there was an over-correction of the market at the height of the global economic downturn,” the source added.

However, another player in the industry noted that his company had fore-warned that this would happen attributable to high prices of crude and refined products in the international market  that have defied the downward trend that had characterized the second half of 2008.

 “This is as a result of mainly the decision by OPEC to cut down on production to cushion against any further drop in prices,” the company’s statement indicated.
However, motorists in Nairobi have decried the rise in prices and are seeking an explanation from the government on the high prices. 

“We are all feeling the effects of the hike in the petrol prices. When this happens, then it impacts us negatively,” said John Mugo, a motorist.

“Some of us have lost business because with the high prices of petrol, we cannot make any profit in our business,” James Onyango, a taxi driver said.

“I am a person living with disability and my car has been improvised so I am dealing with the high fuel costs, in addition to other factors,” said Felisha Anwonko.

 The motorists want the government to intervene.

“They need to fix prices right now because we are really suffering,” one businessman urged.

“The government should take an interest in these matters. They need to act decisively with these petrol stations because we are being harassed,” another affected motorist stated.

“Let action be taken or we must change our leadership.”

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