Consumers in a fix as cost of cooking gas rises - The East African

Consumers in a fix as cost of cooking gas rises

Saturday April 22 2017

The cost of cooking gas in Rwanda has risen by

The cost of cooking gas in Rwanda has risen by 16 per cent. PHOTO| CYRIL NDEGEYA  


The rising cost of cooking gas will hurt consumers who have enjoyed low prices over the past eight months.

The cost of refilling a 12kg cylinder has risen by 16 per cent from Rwf12,000 to Rwf14,000, a development distributors blame on rising global prices for oil and gas.

“On average the wholesale price of cooking gas in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania has gone up by $200 (Rwf164,343) per tonne,” said Walda Keza, operations manager of Safe Gas, a leading LPG filling companies and marketers.

Consumers saw a 33 per cent drop in the retail price of cooking gas after marketers agreed to a uniform price of Rwf1,000 per kilogramme, down from Rwf1,500.

Wholesale prices were reduced to Rwf800 per kg from Rwf1,200 per kilogramme.

A mini survey carried out by Rwanda Today on April 19 shows the current revision of prices has seen large gas importers like Societe Petroliere increase the wholesale price of 1kg cooking gas from Rwf800 to Rwf1,400.

The increase in landing prices is being attributed to recent action by OPEC and Russia to support prices through production cuts to reduce global stockpiles.

Local gas prices had remained unchanged even as pump prices were adjusted upward over the past six months.

“We have revised fuel prices three times,” said Benjamin Rutumirwa the director of Economic Regulation at Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA).

The regulator revised fuel pump prices in November 2016, January and in March, to mirror the global trend.

Higher oil and gas prices were predicted in a January 2017 World Bank Commodity Prices Outlook which said OPEC-aligned producers and Russia had agreed to limit output in the first half of this year.

“Crude oil prices are forecast to rise to $55 per barrel in 2017 from $43 per barrel in 2016,” according to the World Bank outlook. RURA, which currently only regulates prices for electricity, petrol and diesel says it is setting up the legal framework to regulate gas prices. “The draft regulation is ready. We are sending it to stakeholders for their input before it is published probably next month, said Mr Rutumirwa.

One of the proposals is to regulate licensing of gas importers and wholesalers.