The Government of Liberia through the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company and the Ministry of Commerce yesterday, June 3, 2015 announced an increment in the prices of diesel (fuel) and gasoline on the Liberia market.
The prices of these commodities were jointly approved by the Managing Director of LPRC, Prof. Sumo Kupee and the Minister of Commerce, Axel Addy.
According to a petroleum price circular issued by the government, the retail pump price for a gallon of diesel has increased from US$3.16 to US$3.41 (L$290.00 at the Central Bank of Liberia approved exchange rate of US$1 to L$85), representing a twenty-five cent increment, while the retail pump price for a gallon of gasoline has increased from US$3.21 to US$3.41 (L$290.00), representing a twenty cent increment.
The decision to increase the prices of petroleum products is as a result of the upward change in the price of crude oil on the international market plus with freight and insurance charges; the two largest determinates of the prices of petroleum product in Liberia.
Between April and June, the price of one barrel of crude oil increased from US$40.00 to US$60.00 representing a 50 percent increment while, for the same period, the freight and insurance charges increased from US$75.00 to US$121.00, representing a 61 percent increment, the statement indicated.
These adjustments, according to the two authorities, are attributed to the insecurity in the Gulf of Aden, a major supply route for oil tankers conveying crude oil. This has reduced shipping availability leading to higher freight and insurance rates.
The circular warned that the Ministry of Commerce inspectorate will closely monitor the approved ceiling prices to avoid the arbitrary hike in the pump prices of gasoline and fuel on the local market.
It also warned that the Ministry of Commerce will also be closely monitoring the effectiveness of the price circular to ensure that importers do no undercut fellow competitors on the market.