Picture and story by PATRICK TALU
FUEL consumers nationwide will now dig deeper into their pockets as fuel prices for petrol, diesel and kerosene go up from today.
Consumers will pay K3.33 per litre for petrol (from K3.16) and K2.75 per litre for diesel (from K2.53). Kerosene price rises from K2.42 to K2.60 per litre.
Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) acting chief executive officer Elastus Geroro blamed the rise in fuel prices on an increased crude oil price, and a fall by the kina against the US dollar on the exchange rate.
High cost in transporting the products also contributed to the rise.
He said on monthly average comparison, crude oil price rose significantly last month, increasing by 6.48% compared to a 2.7% reduction in February.
Mr Geroro said as the global economy continued to show signs of recovery, crude oil prices began to rise in a region where China has a big influence on other Asia-Pacific economies.
He stressed that change in the fuel prices were determined by global energy demand and, given that crude oil is a globally traded commodity, it was expected that the demand and supply determination in the major regions around the world against the US dollar would continue to cause price changes at any time in the future.
He said with crude oil trading above US$70 per barrel for the third consecutive month, prices would continue to fluctuate in the coming months.
He urged fuel suppliers and retailers not to charge consumers above the set prices.