Fuel prices won’t cross GHS18 mark next week – CBOD assures consumers

The Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD) has allayed the fears of consumers that fuel prices may go up astronomically by the end of April this year.

The Chamber said its assessment of the variables that influence prices at the pumps, particularly the exchange rate, had been stable in the last week, adding that the situation may not have any huge impact on prices of petrol, diesel, and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

Speaking to journalists in Accra, Dr Patrick Kwaku Ofori, Chief Executive Officer, CBOD, dismissed reports claiming that prices of petrol and diesel would hit at least GHS18 per litre by next week.

“Despite the fear mongering that the dollar was going to close at GHS 14, to be fair, it has been relatively stable, which is far better than what happened the previous weeks.

“Now the price is GHS14.99 (per litre). It’ll get to GHS18 (per litre) unless the dollar hits maybe GHS15 but I can’t foresee the dollar hitting even GHS14 by even next week,” he said.

Dr Ofori urged the public and “energy experts” to desist from churning out uniformed projections that could trigger fear among consumers and influence investments in the sector.

He said the Chamber was concerned about the influence of such speculation on consumer behaviours and the volatility of prices at the pumps.

He announced plans by CBOD to organise training courses for journalists on the components of fuel pricing and market dynamics among other informative engagements to help reduce misinformation around fuel pricing.

“We should be guided with some of our utterances. Forex commodities are sensitive to key elements within the sector and the economy. When people make certain speculations that are projections, we need to probe further,” he said.

After maintaining relative stability for months, fuel prices recorded repeated hikes in the last four weeks, with analysts blaming the situation on spike in international prices and depreciation of the Cedi against the US Dollar.

Currently, petrol and diesel are trading at an average GHS14.99 and GHS14.80 per litre at the pumps.

Dr Ofori said the performance of the Cedi against the Dollar and prices on the international markets were the major variables that had influenced fuel price hikes in recent weeks.

He said the Chamber was exploring innovative avenues to enhance access to forex and reduce pressure on the Cedi.

Dr Ofori said contrary to claims that bulk oil distributors benefited from fuel price increments, the BDCs sometimes incurred losses if their projections of the forex market exceeded expectations.

Assessing the situation on the international market, he expressed worry that ongoing tensions in the Middle East could affect global fuel prices if the exchanges between Israel, Iran, and Gaza escalated.

“We do not want the situation to escalate. Once it escalates, we should be certain that oil prices will go up,” he said.

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