The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana, COPEC, says it expects prices of petroleum products at the pumps to go down further after some Oil Marketing Companies reduced prices by about seven percent on Monday, March 16, 2020.
Following a drop in global crude oil prices and the relative stability of the cedi for about two months now, there have been calls by the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers and other interest groups for the OMCs to reduce their prices in line with the petroleum product pricing and deregulation policy.
COPEC says the reduction for now is insignificant, and they are hopeful the OMCs will gradually reduce their fuel prices to about 15 percent as global crude oil prices drastically dropped by about 30 percent.
Speaking to Citi Business News, the Executive Director of COPEC, Duncan Amoah, insisted that the price can further go down to bring the needed relief to consumers.
“It will be disappointing if we do not see a further reduction in the days ahead. What we had expected would have been a minimum 10% reduction. Some also insist that the spike will hurt some of the dealers if they were to go ahead and reduce it drastically. So, it is our expectation that as we have seen about 5% – 7% reduction now, we should be able to see another 5% reduction in the coming few days,” he said.
COPEC maintains that the cedi’s relative stability compared to other trading currencies and the global drop in crude oil prices must count for something.
The Institute of Energy Security (IES), had however predicted a reduction of about 5 to 8 percent at the pumps, whiles the National Petroleum Authority, NPA, also said per its calculation, prices were to go down by 15 %.
Stop interfering in fuel price movement – OMCs tell stakeholders
Meanwhile, the Association of Oil Marketing Companies, has advised against what it calls undue interference in the pricing decisions of its members.
World price slump
On Monday, March 9, 2020, oil prices saw its lowest drop since 1991.
This was after Saudi Arabia started a price war with Russia by slashing its selling prices and pledging to unleash its pent-up supply onto a market reeling from falling demand because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Prior to this huge slash, crude prices had been relatively stable. By this, prices are generally expected to go down significantly at the pumps, to ease pressure on consumers.Brent crude futures fell by as much as $14.25, or 31.5%, to $31.02 a barrel. That was the biggest percentage drop since Jan. 17, 1991, at the start of the first Gulf War and the lowest since February 12, 2016.
It was trading at $35.75 at 0114 GMT.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell by as much as $11.28, or 27.4%, to $30 a barrel. That was also the biggest percentage drop since the first Gulf War in January 1991 and the lowest since February 22, 2016. It was trading at $32.61.