Fuel prices have gone up by 3.5 percent from Rwf887 per litre to Rwf918 making it the highest prices the country has ever experienced.
According to the mini-survey carried out by the Business Times since Wednesday afternoon, filling stations around town had added Rwf31 on every litre of diesel and petrol.
Emmanuel Hategeka, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry attributed the increase to hike of a barrel prices on the international market.
“Prices on the international market have increased by 4 percent in the past month. As a result we had to also increase because we don’t control these prices but we as the government we try to minimise the increase,” Hategeka explained.
At the beginning or end of every month, the government meets with petroleum dealers to monitor price structures internationally and reach an agreement on a final local pump price.
Hategeka also revealed that the government is trying to workout a strategy that will protect more local pump prices in the future, in case of international hikes.
He added that the policy is ready and being debated, so that local prices are protected in circumstances like these.
“If prices increase on the local market, we are all affected but because we don’t control the international prices, we have to look for solutions that the impact is minimal,” he added.
Hategeka didn’t rule-out the price increase of other products such as transport and food stuff.
He said that other sectors might be affected by the increase especially the transport and market prices of food stuff. However, he explained that not all commodities are determined by one factor.
“Prices of other commodities might not be affected because they are determined by market forces but not fuel prices, meaning other products will remain stable,” he explained.
This is the first time fuel prices have increased in a period of three months. Last time pump prices increased was at the beginning of November last year.
The recent volatility of fuel costs on the local market could as well lead to unstable prices of other consumable, hence a rise in inflation that has been contained in single digits for most of 2010.
In June last year pump prices increased by five percent from Rwf756 to Rwf795 per litre owing to the global financial crisis.
In the same month pump prices for both petrol and diesel increased to Rwf825 from Rwf795 per litre.
In September 2009 there was a 4.2 percent rise from Rwf825 to Rwf860, attributable to international prices and government road maintenance charges.