Fuel prices may cross GH¢8 soon if Russia-Ukraine tensions stay high – COPEC

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The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) is warning that if nothing is done by authorities in Ghana, regarding the rising fuel prices on the global market as Russia invades Ukraine, fuel prices could cross the GH¢8 mark at the pumps in the first pricing window of March.

A barrel of Brent Crude Oil which was going for about $66 a year ago, and $78 at the start of 2022, jumped 7.3% to $103.9 a barrel just before 10 am GMT on Thursday, the highest level since July 2014.

This comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale military assault on Ukraine, prompting widespread international condemnation.

News of Russia’s actions led to steep falls on stock markets across Europe, with the UK’s FTSE 100 index down 2.5% and Germany’s Dax index falling 3.5%. Stocks in Asia had also fallen sharply.

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The price of gold—which is considered a haven asset in times of uncertainty—rose by 2%.

Energy prices had already been soaring in recent months amid a confluence of factors, including the pandemic, limited supply and growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Many analysts expect prices to rise much higher still, amid fears of major disruption to the global energy supply.

Speaking to Citi Business News on the impact of the development in Ukraine on fuel prices at local pumps, Duncan Amoah the Executive Secretary at Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, said things could get worse soon.

“Where you have the third-biggest oil producer and second-biggest producer of natural gas in Russia, currently having an escalation with Ukraine, what you will get is that the supply side is going to be greatly hampered. Once supply side is hampered yet demand continues to grow, prices will only head north.”

“If bombings continue into the weekend, oil will cross $110 a barrel. If the tensions do not de-escalate in Ukraine-Russia now, I can safely see fuel crossing GH¢8.50 per litre at Ghanaian pumps by March 1, 2022,” he added.

Use windfall from sale of Ghana’s oil to cushion citizens – Gov’t urged

Government in its 2022 budget pegged the years’ benchmark crude oil price at $61.23 per barrel, up from the $54.75 per barrel for 2021. The projected Petroleum Benchmark Revenue for 2022 is meanwhile estimated at $1,006.1 million.

With a barrel of Brent Crude crossing $100, Mr. Amoah is charging government to take action now by using the windfall from the sale of oil from Ghana to keep prices at the pumps from rising.

“We would need to sit to decide as a country on whether we would simply apply part of the enhanced revenue we are making from oil exports to the Bulk Distribution Companies to enable them waive off the sporadic increases we are seeing on the international market, as opposed to allowing it to be passed on at the pumps. Those are critical decisions that need to be taken today. Waiting till the end of the month will only compound our problems.”

 

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