- One liter of kerosene will now be sold for Sh83.48 in Nairobi County starting today.
- The situation was exacerbated by the move to import the products in July when crude oil prices had stabilized and sold at Sh 4,657 ( US$ 42) per barrel.
- Data on the use of cooking gas in the period when Kenya began implementing COVID-19 control strategies.
Kenyans are facing a dilemma with the price of kerosene products expected to increase by almost six times, following an announcement made on Friday by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA). The change is due to the new import of the product, which has not been imported since April.
One liter of kerosene will now be sold for Sh83.48 in Nairobi County starting today, according to the new prices announced yesterday by EPRA. The authority said in a press statement:
“The changes in this month’s prices are as a consequence of the average landed cost of imported super petrol increasing by 14.18 percent from US$279.58 per cubic meter in June 2020 to US$319.23 per cubic meter in July 2020. Diesel increasing by 10.30 percent from US$302.15 per cubic meter to US$333.27 per cubic meter and Kerosene increasing by 127.87 percent from US$126.39 per cubic meter to US$288.01 per cubic meter.”
This means that customers will have to pay Sh18.03 more compared to the price of Sh 65.45 per liter of kerosene last month. The increase in kerosene prices is a major blow to poor families, as large numbers of people turn to use such products and reduce their use of cooking gas, according to a study by EPRA.
The situation was exacerbated by the move to import the products in July when crude oil prices had stabilized and sold at Sh 4,657 per barrel. The move has led to a 28 percent increase in the price of kerosene products that are heavily relied upon by poor communities for lighting as well as the paint industry.
In addition, the Sh18.03 increase is almost six times the target of the additional Sh3.32 increase in the price of Super petrol to Sh103.80 per liter in Nairobi, and an increase of Sh2.57 in the price of diesel products.
The increase in the use of kerosene products, which dropped to Sh62 per liter, came as retailers stayed for three months without importing the product, leading to a shortage. Data on the use of cooking gas in the period when Kenya began implementing COVID-19 control strategies, shows that the rate of gas consumption dropped while kerosene was increasing.
These strategies, coupled with difficult economic times, pushed many citizens to turn to other cheaper alternatives. Six months’ data from January 2020 indicates that customers bought 23,327 tons of cooking gas in June, compared to the product’s level of 30,860 tons in May.
The 24 percent drop in gas consumption came at a time when the level of kerosene consumption doubled in June to 29.4 million liters from 15.4 million liters in May. EPRA wrote in the monthly pump prices report, released in July:
“In the July /August cycle, no kerosene was discharged at the Port of Mombasa. 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.”