A cooking gas outlet. Retail prices of liquefied petroleum gas in Kenya are to increase significantly this festive season, following a dramatic surge in prices on the international market. PHOTO | FILE Retail prices of liquefied petroleum gas in Kenya are to increase significantly this festive season, following a dramatic surge in prices on the international market.
After prices of cooking gas fell to a six-year low this year, the trend is expected to reverse in December, with prices anticipated to increase by an average of Ksh10 ($0.09 cents) per kg.
This means that the price of a 6kg cylinder currently retailing at Ksh850 ($8.5) could rise to about Ksh920 ($9.2). The price of a 13kg cylinder currently retail at Ksh2,050 ($2) is expected to increase to Ksh2,220 ($22.3).
“The world prices for LPG have gone up and consumers in Kenya should expect the same in the local market,” said Edward Kinyua, acting director of petroleum at the Energy Regulatory Commission.
The ERC does not regulate LPG retail prices, meaning that consumers will be left at the mercy of oil marketing companies who set prices in accordance with market forces.
According to an analysis of LPG prices at the international market, the prices in Saudi Arabia have recorded a steady rise since August, driven by increasing demand, particularly in Europe and United States due to the onset of the winter season.
The prices of LPG have increased by $150 per tonne during the four months period from August to November from $290 per tonne to $440 per tonne.
Kenya, which sources LPG mainly from Saudi Arabia, imports an average of 14,000 tonnes per month, with the product currently in the market having been imported in November at a price of $440 per tonne, compared with October’s $370 per tonne.
The anticipated increase risks reversing the gains recorded by the Kenya government, which has been creating incentives to push the use of cooking gas.
Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that about 87 per cent of Kenyans depend on kerosene, charcoal or firewood for their cooking needs.
Source: The East African