KIGALI - Effective today, pump prices for both petrol and diesel have gone up 5 percent, recording the highest hike in pump prices the country has ever experienced.
Petrol has risen 5 percent Rwf965 to Rwf1,015 per litre and diesel, 6 percent, from Rwf958 to Rwf1,015
According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry the hike is a result of the continuous unrest in Middle East.
Monique Nsanzabaganwa, the Minister of Trade and Industry, said that after negotiations with fuel dealers, it was agreed that local prices had to be adjusted to meet the increasing price of a barrel on the international market.
“Following the unrest in the Libya and other Middle East countries, there has been a hike in international crude oil.
In February, a barrel was trading at around $114 (Rwf67,816)but recently it went up to $117 (Rwf69,615), leaving us with no choice but to adjust the local pump price upwards,” Nsanzabaganwa explained.
She, however, announced that in the past days, the price of a barrel on the international market has gone down.
Nsanzabaganwa also noted this is not unique for Rwanda, saying “We have experienced such increases in the recent past and even in our neighbouring countries prices have shot-up.”
She also played down concerns that the hike will affect transport fares, saying that transport fares were adjusted last month, putting into consideration such developments.
“The increase will not be felt by transporters and we are not expecting any pressure from the players in the industry to increase fares,” she added.
“This is the first time the country is experiencing a four digit fuel price hike, but we are not excepting big differences in import bills although we cannot rule-out international transport cost could be increased,” Nsanzabaganwa said.
In January, pump prices for both petrol and diesel increased on the local market from Rwf952 per litre to Rwf965 and Rwf946 to Rwf958 per litre respectively.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry has always attributed the trend to the international oil prices, which are governed by the forces of supply and demand.