For the second consecutive month, international fuel prices increased according to weekly Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) bulletin released on Friday, January 26.
The increase in prices came after months of decrease in international fuel prices and was communicated two weeks before the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) fuel review.
CBK noted that the increase in fuel prices was largely attributed to an unexpected exponential growth of the United States economy.
“International oil prices increased during the week ending January 25, largely attributed to faster than expected US growth in the fourth quarter as well as continued attacks and geopolitical risks in the Middle East,” the bulletin revealed.
US President Joe Biden during his inaugural address in 2021.
As a result, Murban oil price rose to USD80.72 (Ksh13,129) per barrel on January 25 from USD78.47 (Ksh12,763) per barrel on January 18.
Murban oil largely refers to crude oil from the Middle East especially from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
Noteworthy, Kenya buys oil from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company on a 180-day line of credit.
On the US economy that necessitated the rising of fuel prices, CBK noted that it grew at an annual rate of 3.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2023.
“The US dollar index strengthened by 0.03 per cent against a basket of major currencies during the week ending January 25,” CBK noted.
Insecurity at the Red Sea where ships have been repeatedly attacked by Houthi rebels based in Yemen also continued to affect fuel prices.
On Wednesday, January 24, Kenya joined other 20 nations in condemning the attacks.
In a joint statement signed by Kenya, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and other nations, the countries stated that the Houthi attacks were a threat to all countries that rely on international shipping.
EPRA is expected to announce new fuel prices on February 14. Currently, Super Petrol retails at Ksh207.36, Diesel at Ksh196.47, and Kerosene at Ksh194.23 in Nairobi.
A fuel attendant in Kenya.