Stakeholders in the petroleum sector are confident of stable prices of fuel products within the first quarter of 2023.
Prices of petroleum products went down in the first pricing window of 2023 with petrol selling at GH¢12.40 and diesel going for GH¢14.60 at most pumps across the country.
Detailing the factors accounting for the reduction and the optimism for cheaper cost of petroleum products, the Executive Director of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies, Kwaku Agyeman Duah in an interview with Citi News‘ Nana Tuffour said, “basically one of the things which are happening on our side is the fact that the fluctuation in the prices [of the commodities] has gone down. Over the period we also saw the cedi picking up in its value. We also have the market forces helping us.”
The Executive Secretary of Petroleum Consumers, Duncan Amoah remarked that, “some Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) are doing very well. I hate to continuously mention Star oil because it looks as though they are quite pricing-sensitive.”
He said expectations were high on the leading fuel pumps to sell between GH¢10.00 and GH¢11.00 for petrol, adding that they will engage them to reduce the prices a bit further.
“GOIL just did about a 1% further on petrol and diesel. We would have expected that around this time, GOIL, Shell, Total, and the bigger three would have reduced their prices to about GH¢10.00 and GH¢11.00. Unfortunately, what we have now is GH¢12.4 for petrol. We will continue to engage them to let the reductions reflect.”
“The difference in the reduction is accounted for by those paying cash for products and those buying on credit. The bigger OMCs are not efficient as we would have loved to see them with their pricing,” Mr. Duncan said.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distribution, Dr. Patrick Kwaku Ofori, explained that some of their members have been very proactive in landing some products that are relatively cheaper and the consumer will be the bigger beneficiary.
“Currently, the World Bank has projected a slow economic growth in 2023, indicating that the demand for oil will most likely fall. Once such falls happen, we can all anticipate that such demands will correspond to pricing. And that we have situations in China, which is currently causing a lot of demand issues. And China increasing its renewables by 15% in 2022, if that is going to take a significant portion of their crude demand, then clearly prices in 2023 will go a bit down because there won’t be much importation from China.
“Some of our members have been very proactive and innovative in landing some products that are relatively cheaper, but I think overall, the consumer/public will be the bigger beneficiary,” Dr. Ofori underscored.
The Communications Manager of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Mohammed Abdul-Kudus, envisaged that consumers will be at an advantage if the prices of fuel become stable.
“Some of the OMCs have reduced their prices downwards, to reflect the changing dynamics in the market. It’s clearly the weight of the cedi against the dollar, then a certain marginal force of the price of products in the international market. These two combined have given us the marginal decrease in the prices of fuel seen at the OMCs beginning yesterday. So going into the future, if things stay the way they are today, then certainly we should be having fair pricing, which will be to the advantage of the consumer,” he expressed hope.