The Chamber of Bulk oil Distributors, (CBOD) wants Ghanaians to brace themselves up for more fuel price hikes due to the depreciation of the cedi against the major trading currencies.
Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) recently sanctioned a 14 pesewa increment in prices of petroleum products following the implementation of the full deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA).
In an interview, the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, Senyo Hosi cautioned Ghanaians not to expect a reduction in fuel price anytime soon looking at the rate of depreciation of the cedi.
The cedi has so far depreciated against major trading currencies by 20% and there are increased calls from on the managers of the economy to halt the depreciation to protect businesses.
Mr. Hosi, who defended the impending increments saying, “as long as we have the exchange rate which is not getting any better, prices will naturally go up.” According to him, the prices of petroleum products are currently about 13% subsidized.
He disclosed that the prices should have gone up by 17% but they only went up by 4%. “Maybe one thing we all don’t know is that for us to have reached this point, we all gave up some margins.
BDCs gave up about 5% which effectively is about 25% to 30% of their gross margins to get the last price that we had,” he explained.
A number of the OMCs on Monday pegged the retail prices of petroleum products at filling stations at GH₡ 3.47 per litre for petrol and GH₡ 3.37 per litre for diesel.
The NPA in a statement said the development constitutes the first process towards the implementation of the petroleum product price deregulation.
It said: “The implementation of this first stage of price deregulation will continue into subsequent pricing windows while the Authority reviews the existing legal framework of petroleum products pricing towards a smooth implementation of the full steps of petroleum products price deregulation in Ghana.”