Fuel prices cannot go down drastically – OMCs

The Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) says consumers of petroleum products should not expect a drastic reduction of the commodity next week.

Speaking to journalists in Accra, The Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) Kwaku Agyeman Duah said, “They expect that it [fuel prices] also goes down and you see it is going down but it cannot be that drastic. [The prices] going down is like sharing and it’s just like when it’s going up we also share because what it means is that we have to recover some of the losses you have made; it varies from one OMC to the other depending on how much losses they’ve made.”

Mr Agyeman Duah said “If you go to the market place right now you see some of them have reduced very well…so the next window you see people responding very well but what we are saying is that it cannot be as drastic as people expect. If this trend continues the market dynamics will make that there is a conformity to the price reduction.”

He added, “If the trend continues and the cedi appreciate then we’ll see a steady decline of the fuel prices.”

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has been pushing for a 15 per cent reduction but the CEO of the AOMCs says he will wish the regulator is quite to avoid the price predictions.

So far members of the AOMCs say they have subsidized fuel prices to the tune of GH¢51 million and cannot continue to make loses.

15% reduction

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) this week hinted at some significant reduction in fuel prices by the Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) from next week.

It is, however, rejecting calls for the regulator – NPA or government to step in to force a reduction in prices at the pumps, following delays by the players to adjust in line with market developments.

The Chief Executive of the NPA, Hassan Tampuli said consumers should appreciate that due to the deregulation policy, adjusting prices is strictly in the hands of the oil marketers.

Mr Tampuli said “When we have observed the price movement as we have from the 1st [March] up to date, there is a very clear indication that the prices will go down by the 16th of March so it is not up to …anybody else to determine for us what the price should be. The industry people themselves understand that the prices have to go down because there is a reduction of the price on the international market; government taxes have not increased, the cedi is way better than the dollar and we should get the benefit of that.”

He said, “…from what we have seen, the movement of the products, the prices and so on and so forth, we are likely to see something within the range of 15 per cent reduction, that is from our calculation, all things being equal.”

Oil prices on Monday recorded their biggest plunge since the first Gulf War in 1991, tumbling as traders bet that a clash between oil giants Saudi Arabia and Russia could flood a world already hobbled by the coronavirus outbreak.

Brent crude has fallen by as much as $14.25, or 31.5%, to $31.02 a barrel. That was the lowest since February 12, 2016.