As one of its main functions, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has announced a slight drop in the price of unleaded super petrol. Prices of diesel and kerosene however rise in the latest monthly review.

In the new pump prices which take effect on 15th December 2016, the price of a litre of super petrol in Nairobi will decrease by Kshs 0.74 to sell at a maximum of Kshs 94.20. Diesel will rise by a maximum of Kshs 5.05 per liter to sell at Kshs 87.22 per litre. Kerosene, commonly used for cooking and lighting, will go up by a maximum of Kshs 1.40 per liter to sell at Kshs 63.56 in Nairobi.

The change in petroleum pump prices was driven by changes in the average landed cost of imported petroleum products at the port of Mombasa. The average landed cost of super petrol decreased by 2.76% from US$ 518.23 per ton in October 2016 to US$ 503.93 per ton in November 2016. The average landed cost of diesel increased by 9.80% from US$ 435.46 per ton to US$ 478.11 per ton and the average landed cost of kerosene increased 4.41% from US$ 479.30 per ton to US$ 500.45 per ton.

The increase in oil prices emerges at a critical time as Kenyans prepare for the festive season, which involves a lot of travel. This will result in hiking of fares by the largely diesel-powered public service vehicles.

Yesterday, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries(Opec) signaled a growing oil supply surplus in 2017 unless members implement their deal to curb output from record levels and outside producers also deliver on cutback pledges.

In a monthly report, Opec pumped 33.87 million barrels per day (bpd)  in November. During that month, Opec also finalized a plan to cut output by 1.20 million bpd from January 1 to 32.50 million bpd.

Last weekend, non-members countries pledged curbs of around 560,000 bpd in the first such move since 2001.

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