The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) has asked motorists to avoid Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) that have refused to reduce fuel prices at the pumps.
This is because OMCs across the country were expected to reduce their prices from Monday, March 16, 2020, which was officially the next pricing window, and following a drop in crude oil prices by 30 per cent due to a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Even though some OMCs, including GOIL, have reduced their prices between five and seven per cent, others are yet to follow suit.
In an interview with the media, the Executive Director of COPEC, Duncan Amoah, encouraged consumers to send a strong message to such OMCs by boycotting their products.
The strength or weakness of the Ghana cedi, which is a major determinant of fuel prices, has also been relatively stable, making some gains against major currencies in recent weeks, whereas the taxes that constitute the price build-up for petroleum products has not seen any recent increase.
“Some OMCs, as we speak, have refused to even reduce prices. We would want to encourage consumers to ensure that they are price sensitive at this time. They should be on the lookout, and be sure to check for prices before they do their purchases around this time when prices should have gone down,” he said.
World price slump
On Monday, March 9, 2020, oil price saw its lowest drop since 1991.
This was after Saudi Arabia started a price war with Russia, by slashing its selling prices and pledging to unleash its pent-up supply onto a market reeling from falling demand because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Prior to this huge slash, crude prices had been relatively stable. By this, prices are generally expected to go down significantly at the pumps, to ease pressure on consumers.
Brent crude futures fell by as much as $14.25, or 31.5%, to $31.02 a barrel. That was the biggest percentage drop since Jan. 17, 1991, at the start of the first Gulf War and the lowest since February 12, 2016.
It was trading at $35.75 at 0114 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell by as much as $11.28, or 27.4%, to $30 a barrel. That was also the biggest percentage drop since the first Gulf War in January 1991 and the lowest since February 22, 2016. It was trading at $32.61.