Fuel prices not likely to rise further: Watchdog


By Lemach Lavari
THE Independent Consumer and Competition Commission does not expect the retail price of petrol, diesel and kerosene to increase further.
ICCC chief executive and commissioner Paulus Ain, pictured, said businesses and service providers such as public transport must not charge consumers too much as they could face legal action.
On the other hand, Ain said a change in fuel price would affect the retail price of goods and services.
He said while ICCC did not have the power to control prices of goods and services, it was responsible for monitoring the factory gate prices of rice, flour and sugar according to the Price Regulation Act.
He said the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission would closely monitor the price trend of rice, flour, sugar, fuel and kerosene to make sure they were not overpriced.
He said the increase in fuel and kerosene was due to the 13toea excise duty being charged, caused.
The increase was due to the global supply and demand of crude oil resulting in a 3.76 per cent increase for January.
Other cost factors include the drop in kina by 0.38 per cent against the US dollar, an increase in international shipping freight rate by 1. 8 per cent, increase in domestic freight (land and sea) by 1.3 per cent, increase in wholesale and retail margin by 2.31 per cent and 3.29 respectively, he said.
Ain said according to Brent Complex, a global price indicator of crude oil, the recent increase in oil prices was due to the lack of global supply. He said analysts predict a US$80 (K250) per barrel this year.
But this high price will not last as the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries could increase production to lower American shares in the oil market.
He said oil would drop to between US$50 and US$60 (K156 and K187) per barrel.
Ain said given that outlook, retail prices of petrol, diesel and kerosene in PNG were not likely to increase further.