Fuel-price relief for motorists

Phillepus Uusiku
As of today, motorists will pay N$1.20 less per litre of petrol, while the price of diesel will decrease by N$0.65 per litre, the mines and energy ministry has announced.

The new fuel prices at Walvis Bay will become N$21.08 per litre for petrol and N$22.12 per litre for diesel.

Last month, both petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged at N$22.28 and N$22.77 per litre respectively.

According to minister Tom Alweendo, international fuel prices are stabilising, while the local currency also appreciated against the US dollar over the review period.

Falling prices

Between 1 and 26 August, the price of petrol averaged US$111.08 per barrel, compared to US$128.16 per barrel at the end of July, a significant decline of US$17 per barrel.

Equally, the price of diesel averaged US$134.61 per barrel, compared to US$139.69 per barrel at the end of July, a much smaller decrease of about US$5 per barrel.

The possible return of sanctioned Iranian oil exports to global markets, coupled with the worries that the rising US interest rates will continue to weaken fuel demand, have been some of the contributing factors to the falling prices of crude oil over the last few weeks.

Moreover, the Namibian dollar appreciated against the US dollar to N$16.65 per US dollar, compared to N$16.84 per US dollar at the end of July.

This currency appreciation has a positive effect on the import parity price calculations and the local pump prices of fuel, Alweendo pointed out.

Levies

He also announced the extension of the temporary reduction of road user charges, the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) levy and the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) levy until further notice.

He further announced an increase in the industry margin for fuel wholesalers by 20 cents per litre from 108 cents per litre to 128 cents per litre on all products.

Last month, the ministry increased the dealer margin for retailers by 50 cents per litre from 113 cents per litre to 163 cents per litre.

New method

As from 1 August, the ministry has resolved to start calculating the freight rates in the basic fuel price based on data published by Refinitiv between Walvis Bay and three benchmark pricing markets - the Mediterranean, the Arabian Gulf and Singapore.

The introduction of this freight pricing methodology comes into effect after it realised that most - if not all - petroleum products imported into Namibia no longer emanate from South Africa, and thus the South African to Walvis Bay freight rate component in the old methodology is no longer warranted, Alweendo said.