Fuel prices are expected to go down from November 1, as a result of the sharp drop in crude oil prices over the last few weeks to the present $73.50 on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday.
Felix Owusu Agyepong, Minister of Energy, disclosed this at the meet-the-press session yesterday, stressing that the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) was evaluating the current oil industry, taking into consideration under-cover claims or losses by the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and other oil trading companies to the tune of $162,720,590.72 as well as the exchange rate of the cedi to the dollar.
He therefore urged consumers to expect some relief in the very near future when the NPA finishes its evaluation of the situation.
Nevertheless, the Minister explained that government would continue to monitor the effect of crude oil prices on the economy as a whole, taking into account all options available under the circumstances without sacrificing the overall national interest.
John Attafuah, Chief Executive Officer, NPA corroborated the minister's statement at the same conference, saying the NPA would likely reduce petroleum prices from the beginning of next month.
Crude oil soared rapidly from the beginning of the year, reaching a record $147, thus impacting negatively on the country's budget.
This together with the rising food prices then culminated in President John Agyekum Kufuor announcing a five-pronged policy intervention in June to arrest the escalating global prices of essential commodities such as petroleum and food products.
The measures included the removal of import duties on rice, wheat, yellow corn and vegetable oil plus excise duty and debt recovery levy on premix oil, worth billions of dollars.
The minister said despite the intervention, the motor public especially, continued to buy fuel at the same price of $116 per barrel. “The situation was unstable until Monday October 20 where the price recorded $78 per barrel”.
Though the percentage change in the anticipated price drop was not yet known, CITY & BUINESS GUIDE gathered that it might be between 8 to 20 percent margin.
When the fuel price is reduce, it would be the first in seven months, since the NPA which determines the Maximum Inductive Prices for petroleum products, started reviewing petroleum prices.
By Charles Nixon Yeboah & Esther Awuah