To Better Inform Consumers on Commodity Prices, Commerce Minister Wants Media Partnership

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The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Axel M. Addy, has called for collaboration with the media as a means to help inform consumers on the new commodity price listing on the market.

Minister Addy made the call yesterday at a press conference held at his ministry’s office on Ashmun Street in Monrovia.

The conference, he said, was intended to give the public information on the monthly commodity pricing list and solicit their input.

“We’ve called you here today to share with you the new public pricing and to also solicit your help in getting the information out to better educate the public,” he said.

He recalled that a few months ago, his administration informed the press that it was publishing  a monthly newsletter called “Commerce Today.”

The bulletin is also a product developed by the MOC to inform the public on key commodities, inventory and pricing on a monthly basis.

The bulletin asked the public to contact cell numbers 0886559224, 0886516171 to inform the Ministry about any price hikes in basic commodities above the MOC’s stipulated prices.

“This is something new, but a lot has been achieved through the publication and feedback from the public relative to how the MOC is trying to monitor what is obtaining in the market, particularly when it comes to bulk commodities such as rice, petroleum and cement.

“And so we called you here today, to share with you the new public pricing and to also solicit your help in getting that information out,” said Minister Addy.

“As you have been following our progress, we have been reducing prices of petroleum products steadily every month in line with the price on the world market,” he said.   

 The MOC in consultation with the management of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) again announced a further reduction in the pump price of fuel oil or automotive oils (AGO) by US$0.15 cents, while the price of gasoline or premium motor spirit (PMS) remains the same.

In previous price adjustments, from February 26 to March 26, this year, wholesale price for those basic commodities were put at US$3, and retail was US$3.21 or its Liberian dollar equivalent of L$270.

The pronouncement which, he said, took effect last Friday, March 28, means the wholesale price for gasoline is now US$2.88, and fuel oil is US$2.83, while the pump price for gasoline is US$3.06, or its Liberian dollar equivalent of L$260, and fuel oil is US$3.01 or the equivalent of L$260.

“The exchange rate was used based at the end of a monthly exchange rate communicated directly by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).”

The MOC inspectorate team, according to the Minister, will be closely monitoring the approved ceiling prices to avoid arbitrary hiking in the pump prices of gasoline and fuel oil on the local market.

The data report, he said, is gathered based on assessment of import documents, which include commercial invoices, assessment notices, single administrative documents, clean report of findings and targeted market sample surveys.

He said the prices will be closely monitored on the effectiveness of the price circular to ensure that importers do not undercut fellow competitors on the market. 

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