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Tanzania: Global falling prices of oil trigger drop in Tanzanian fuel cost

Fuel prices at filling stations throughout Tanzania markedly dropped effective Wednesday as a result of plummeting oil prices on the world market, the country’s Energy and Water Utility Regulatory Authority (EWURA) has announced.

The authority said retail prices for petrol, diesel and kerosene have dropped by 6.83 per cent, 5.85 percent and 5.31 percent per litre respectively.  Also, for wholesale of these products, it said the cost has dropped by 7.16 percent for petrol, 6.16 percent for diesel and 5.59 percent for kerosene.

“This notable drop in retail and wholesale prices is the result of falling global oil market prices and a decrease in the suppliers’  premium rates,” EWURA Director General Felix Ngamlagosi explained. “Prices could have dropped further had it not been for depreciation of the Tanzania Shilling against the US Dollar.”

On average, retail prices for fuel in Tanzania were slightly above one US dollar per litre and the cost varied farther inland according to distance from Dar es Salaam, the country’s commercial capital and main port.

“This information on prices is intended to enable stakeholders make informed decisions on petroleum prices at a particular time,” said Ngamlagosi, noting that EWURA would continue to encourage competition in the sector by making available pricing information on petroleum products, including the price caps.

“Oil marketing companies are free to sell their products at a price that gives them competitive advantage, provided that such prices do not exceed the price cap for the relevant product,” he added.

In a spontaneous reaction to the EWURA announcement, one economist, Dr Joseph Massawe, said fluctuations in the price of petroleum products have a direct impact on the prices of other products and services, but that today’s drop of fuel prices may not necessarily lead to the reduction in prices for other commodities and services.

“Generally, prices of goods and transport costs are supposed to go down but the fuel price reduction may not be 100 per cent reflected in commerce due to other fluctuating factors such as the exchange rates of  the shilling against major currencies,” he said.


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