Kenya Sees Slight Decrease in Fuel Prices in Latest EPRA Adjustment

Kenya Sees Slight Decrease in Fuel Prices in Latest EPRA Adjustment
May, 14 2024 Economy Talia Van Rensburg

The daily commute for millions of Kenyans has become a tad lighter on the wallet as the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) announces a slight drop in the prices for petroleum products. In its latest monthly review, the prices for Super petrol, diesel, and kerosene have been trimmed by Sh1, Sh1.20, and Sh1.30 per liter respectively, taking a bit of pressure off the average consumer amidst global economic fluctuations.

This recent pricing update means that starting from 15th May 2024, consumers in Nairobi can purchase Super petrol for Sh192.84 per liter, diesel for Sh179.18 per liter, and kerosene for Sh168.76 per liter. Similarly, coastal city dwellers in Mombasa will find petrol at Sh189.66 per liter, diesel at Sh176.01 per liter, and kerosene at Sh165.69 per liter. The residents of Kisumu also see new prices set at Sh192.66 per liter for Super petrol, Sh179.39 per liter for diesel, and Sh169.01 per liter for kerosene. These new rates will apply until the 14th of June 2024.

Despite these reductions, it's important to note that the changes in local fuel prices are a reflection of broader economic currents. Albeit global market trends indicating an uptick in the price indices of diesel, Super petrol, and kerosene, the reductions are largely attributed to the depreciation of the Kenyan Shilling against the US dollar. This weakened currency scenario has inadvertently helped cushion the direct impact of rising global fuel costs on Kenyan consumers.

Moreover, analyzing the cost structure, EPRA highlighted the average landed costs of imported fuels during their assessment period. It revealed a 3.82% increase in the landed cost for Super petrol, a marginal 0.46% decrease for diesel, and a slight 0.50% rise for kerosene. This nuanced change in the cost dynamics reflects the ongoing volatility in global oil markets, influenced by geopolitical factors, supply chain disruptions, and shifting demands, which continually impact importation costs.

Previous trends have also played a role in setting these new prices. Back in April, the fuel market experienced a noteworthy reduction, particularly in diesel prices, which saw it retailing at Sh180.38 per liter in Nairobi. This kind of fluctuation is typical in the energy sector and underscores the complicated interplay of factors that govern fuel pricing — from international oil prices to local taxation and subsidy frameworks.

Understanding the implications of these changes requires consideration of various stakeholders. For everyday consumers, lower fuel prices mean reduced costs for transport and lower expenses for goods and services, as transportation costs significantly influence the prices of commodities. However, the transport sector, freight companies, and sectors dependent on diesel-powered operations will dimension these reductions differently, calculating the impact on operational and logistic costs.

What Leads to Changes in Fuel Prices?

Fuel prices are influenced by a complex set of factors. Primarily, the global price of crude oil plays the most significant role. Supply and demand dynamics, driven by global economic conditions and geopolitical situations, can cause oil prices to swing widely. Secondly, tax policies and environmental levies imposed by governments can greatly affect the end price of fuel. Finally, exchange rates are crucial as oil is marketed using the US dollar; hence any fluctuation in local currency valuations impacts purchase costs indirectly.

Impact and Expectations

As Kenyans gear up for these new prices, the broader economic picture will also need to be considered. With elections on the horizon, fuel prices are always a hot topic of debate, influencing public and political discourse. Monitoring how these price settings will affect inflation, cost of living adjustments, and economic growth remains crucial.

While this slight relief in pump prices provides a short-term benefit, the longer-term economic policies and global market conditions will ultimately dictate future trends. As stakeholders in all sectors keep a close eye on these developments, effective communication from EPRA and related consumer education are essential to ensure that the public remains informed and prepared for future changes.