WAIT AND SEE

Fuel dealers likely to hoard in anticipation of new prices

In Summary

• A barrel of oil hit $71 in global market yesterday, 0.5 per cent higher compared to Friday.

• The regulator increased Super petrol, diesel and kerosene by Sh5.25, Sh5.52 and Sh2.76 respectively in last the review.

A petrol station attendant fuels a car. /Monicah Mwangi
A petrol station attendant fuels a car. /Monicah Mwangi

There could be fuel shortage across the country today as oil marketers hold stock in anticipation of new monthly rates. 

Pundits have predicted further increase in pump prices as a barrel of oil hit $71 in global market yesterday, 0.5 per cent higher compared to Friday.

A spot check by the Star at several petrol in Nairobi yesterday noted declining volumes of Super petrol with attendants saying they have little left for the day.

"We have limited stock of unleaded petrol. We expect no more supply until new prices are announced tomorrow (today). We however have plenty of Shell V-Power. No unusual demand from motorists yet,’’ an attendant at Shell outlet Westlands said. 

Similar situation was witnessed at petrol stations along Limuru Road, with attendants at Total stations in Muthaiga and Gigiri saying they have limited stock of Super petrol and diesel.

A senior officer at a Westlands-based oil supplying firm told the Star that it will be naive to sell new stock at current rates that came into effect on April 15.

‘’Global prices are rising at an alarming rate. Importers are feeling the pinch. It will be naive to sell new stock at current rates,’’ he said.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) dismissed fears of fuel shortage in the country, adding that no hoarding cases have been registered.

The regulator further dismissed rates doing rounds on social media as fake, saying official rates for the month will be announced today.

Those figures insulates that a litre of diesel will rise by Sh2.75 to hit Sh104.82, kerosene to increase by Sh2.77 and super petrol to rise Sh6.42 to sell Sh113.03 starting midnight.

The regulator increased Super petrol, diesel and kerosene by Sh5.25, Sh5.52 and Sh2.76 respectively in last the review, citing high import cost.

Early this month, US placed sanctions on Iran oil, saying the oil rich country was using its oil revenue to fund Strait of Hormuz, an Islamic terrorist organisation.

This has forced Russia, China, Turkey, India and Japan who are net importers of Iran Oil to look for new markets, tightening global demand.

Yesterday, Saudi Arabia said that two of its oil tankers were among vessels targeted by a "sabotage attack" off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, further increasing concerns about global supply disruptions.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the largest and third-largest producers, respectively, in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC),

"Rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, together with sharply declining oil supplies from Venezuela and Iran, will remain bullish for prices," head of analytics at Interfax Energy in London Abhishek Kumar told Reuters.