Government officials have said that fuel pump prices on the local market will remain stable despite a drop in international oil prices.
Monique Nsanzabaganwa, the Minister of Trade and Commerce said that there is a criteria put in place to cushion any effects from the trends in the international market. She how ever declined to predict whether the prices will be changing now.
“At the end of every month we (government) meet with petroleum dealers to monitor price structures internationally and reach an agreement on local pump prices and we will be waiting at the end of the month then a decision will be reached,” Nsanzabaganwa explained.
Fuel prices have dropped for the first time in two months on the international market from $82 (Rwf46,494) a barrel to below $73.9 (Rwf41,391). Last month, oil prices on the international market had gained by 17 percentage points from $68 (Rwf38, 556) to $80 (Rwf45,360) a barrel causing a 3.1 percent increase in pump prices on the local market.
The increase which caused pump prices to increase from Rwf860 per litre to Rwf887 for the fourth time in 2009 was attributed to the increase on the hike on the international market and the weakening of the US dollar.
Trend of fuel prices this year
• In June 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 they rose by 4.2 percent from Rwf825 to Rwf860, attributable to international prices and government road maintenance charges.
• In November the prices increased from Rwf860 a litre to Rwf887 the highest pump prices this country has ever experienced.
Of recent, instability of fuel costs on the local market has caused a hike in transport fares especially with the commuter taxis, a journey which used to cost Rwf100 increased to Rwf150 and the one of Rwf150 to Rwf180.