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Motorists drive into March smiling

By: Kelvin Chiringa

Another relief for motorists as the mines and energy ministry has maintained current fuel prices unchanged for the remainder of March midst a tough economy.

Unleaded petrol will remain pegged at N$12.01 per liter with diesel costing N$13.13 per liter in Walvis Bay as fuel pump prices country-wide will also remain unchanged.

Net importers of oil are always at the receiving end of the global oil market and therefore remain natural price-takers of whatever prices exporters set, the mines ministry has said.

Namibia is one of the net importers of refined oil and although minimal, she could not fence herself from the effects of increasing oil prices in February 2019, caused by oil supply politics by major producers under OPEC.

“As the cartel (OPEC) cut supply into the global market towards the end of January and February, oil prices started picking up, thereby making a big turn from a decreasing trend recorded since October 2018 into an increasing trend that saw oil prices moving from an average of US$58 and US$69 per barrel of refined petrol and diesel respectively,” the ministry said.

In January these prices moved to an average of US$64 and US$77 per barrel of refined petrol and diesel into February 2019.

The NAD/Rand exchange rate also strengthened in the period under review, but not enough to off-set the adverse effects of increasing oil prices.

It moved from an average of N$14 in January to N$13.70 in February this year.

“Filtered through the local market, gains recorded in January 2019 fell significantly by a margin of over 35cents per liter on petrol and over 60cents per liter on diesel.”

“Over-recoveries per product on the BFP import parity landed in Walvis Bay calculated as at 25 February 2019 as indicated below:95 Octane unleaded petrol- 25.953 cents per liter, diesel 50ppm- 7.736 cents per liter,” the ministry said.

Kelvin Chiringa

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