Fuel prices hit 40-month high in latest review

Petroleum prices currently vary across Kenya due to transport costs. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Petroleum prices currently vary across Kenya due to transport costs. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Fuel prices have raced for six months consecutively, hitting a 40-month peak this month due to higher global prices that have prompted plans to set up a State-backed stabilisation fund to hedge against fluctuations.

Petrol, mostly consumed by private cars, is up Sh1.62 to Sh107.92 per litre in Nairobi while diesel used to power commercial vehicles has increased the most by Sh2.14 to Sh96.96 in the city.

Kerosene, mostly used by low income homes for cooking and lighting, is up Sh1.97 to Sh76.75 in the city, according to the new monthly prices set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

The regulator attributed the prices increases on the imported cargo to higher global fuel prices.

Protect consumers

The consistent rise has seen the government propose July 1 as the period to introduce a stabilisation fund that will hedge consumer fuel prices against global changes.

The stabilisation fund will see the energy regulator pass on the benefits of lower prices to motorists by half and increase product prices by a similar margin should crude prices rise sharply.

Petroleum prices currently vary across Kenya due to transport costs that reflect how far a location is from Mombasa port where imported consignments land and are stored.

Mombasa consumers will pay the lowest at Sh104.63 per litre of petrol following the latest price adjustment and Sh93.68 for diesel.

Petrol is most expensive in the northeastern town of Mandera and motorists will pay Sh121.73 a litre, or Sh17 more than in Mombasa, while diesel will cost 110.77 a litre.

Fuel costs have a direct bearing on inflation, being one of the items in the basket of goods and services whose pricing is tracked to measure the cost of living.

Inflation rallied to 4.83 per cent in January from 4.50 per cent a month earlier, driven by higher prices of food, electricity and fuel.