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Fuel prices to go up due to Cedi depreciation – COPEC hints

Fuel prices to go up due to Cedi depreciation – COPEC hints
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The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) has warned that fuel prices at the pumps are likely to go up in a few weeks due to the continued depreciation of the cedi.

Despite the mid-May projection of a drop in the price of petroleum products, some oil marketing companies (OMCs) have started adjusting their prices upward.

According to the OMCs, the uncertainties in the exchange rate market have accounted for their decision.

Currently, the cedi is selling at GHC15.20 at Forex Bureaus.Duncan Amoah, the Executive Director of COPEC, noted that the oil marketing companies are struggling due to the instability of the local currency.

He revealed that despite OMCs adopting other innovative strategies to mitigate the impact of the cedi’s depreciation on their operations, the instability is making it difficult to plan.“Once you have a currency that you can’t predict its performance in the next two to three months, then you are forcing the importers to determine what values to set their pricing”, Mr Amoah said.

He emphasised that businesses will always react to market expectations and make their forecasts based on the performance of the currency.

“If the importer is done selling his fuel, he has to pay the suppliers. He needs more cedi than he did when he was setting the price. A certain overrun may have occurred”, he added.

“So clearly, something must be done and government has a duty to ensure stability of the cedi”.

He further indicated that the performance of the cedi and how the various finished petroleum products are selling on the international market have been a major factor in determining fuel prices at the pumps.

Mr Amoah underscored that OMCs are being saddled with many costs that require them to purchase more dollars to settle them.Meanwhile, a number of oil marketing companies have decided to maintain the old price since last Thursday’s drop in the value of cedi.

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