Economy

Cash-strapped families dump gas for kerosene

fuel

An attendant sells kerosene to a customer. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) data shows that consumption of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) stood at 31.4 million kilos in April and fell to 30.8 and 23.3 kilos in May and June respectively.
  • Consumption of kerosene meanwhile rose to 15.4 million litres in May, up from 13.9 million litres in April.
  • The financial pressure is suspected to have caused increased use of kerosene which can be bought in smaller quantities by low-income households.

Consumption of cooking gas dropped in May and June while the usage of kerosene surged, indicating that cash-strapped households are switching to the dirtier but cheaper energy source.

Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) data shows that consumption of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) stood at 31.4 million kilos in April and fell to 30.8 and 23.3 kilos in May and June respectively.

Consumption of kerosene meanwhile rose to 15.4 million litres in May, up from 13.9 million litres in April.

The changes in the usage of the commodities occurred at a time when most individuals and businesses reported major income shrinkages from the Covid-19 pandemic and measures taken to control it including travel restrictions and closures of bars and schools.

The financial pressure is suspected to have caused increased use of kerosene which can be bought in smaller quantities by low-income households.

The price of the commodity has also remained relatively stable compared to other petroleum products whose pricing initially fell in the wake of the pandemic and have since risen.

Kerosene is currently retailing at Sh65.4 per litre, having increased by Sh2.98, according to the latest prices set by EPRA that will last until August 14.

“In the period under review, there was no kerosene discharged at the Mombasa port. Accordingly, the prevailing kerosene price has been maintained but adjusted for the under recovery of value-added tax by oil marketing companies that occurred in the previous pricing cycle,” EPRA wrote in the monthly pump prices release for August.

At the previous price of Sh62, the product had reverted to its earlier price range before the government introduced the Sh18 per litre anti-adulteration levy to discourage unscrupulous marketers who would mix it with diesel to gain from the price margin.