Energy think tank, Institute of Energy Studies (IES) has backed the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to dismiss purported hikes in prices of petroleum products.

The think tank’s recent analysis explains that on the back of an increase in the national fuel stock and stability of the local currency against major trading currencies, any significant increase in diesel and petrol prices for the second October pricing window (from October 16) would be wrong.

“Both local and international indices, and competition among the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) points only to a stability in local market prices, and in the opinion of the Institute for Energy Security (IES), no increment is justified. It is important that traders and marketers are guided by market fundamentals and business ethics in a deregulated market and not to dwell on speculation to make unjustified profits from the Ghanaian consumer,” said a release issued in Accra on Monday by Principal Research Analyst at IES, Richmond Rockson.

Following media reports on Monday and Tuesday that diesel and petrol prices would be increased in the coming days, the NPA issued a statement to cancel the reports that is said to have come from the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana.

The NPA said, ”where in doubt, consumers and the media should check with NPA’s website or the bi-weekly publications of retail prices of OMCS published in the Daily Graphic, the Ghanaian Times and the Gazette by the Assembly Press for accurate information on the retails of fuel by OMCs."

IES also says its market monitoring has revealed that apart from marginal increases in the prices of petrol and diesel at some fuel stations, prices have remained significantly stable.

Read below IES’ analysis that informed the projection for the second October pricing window.

Local Fuel Market

Within the first Pricing-window for the month of October 2016 prices of Diesel and Petrol at the pump remained fairly stable, with only Puma Energy increasing its petrol price by 0.59%. The stability in the prices could be attributed to competition among the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs). Today the average price for Petrol and Diesel is Ghs3.622 and Ghs3.603 respectively. Radiance Oil and Puma Energy maintained their top spots on the IES Top-10 Chart as the OMC selling the cheapest Petrol and Diesel respectively, on the local market.

World Petroleum Market Indices

Over the Pricing-window, the increase on benchmark Brent crude continued following the planned production output freeze by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). However the recent increases has stalled as the fears of output freeze fades, on the expectation that Russia will derail the OPEC’s plan to limit oil production. In average terms the price of crude rose by 11.61%, thus from $46.58/barrel to $51.99/barrel.

In Europe the average prices for Petrol and Diesel also increased by 3.05% and 7.55% to close at $511.77/metric tonne and $441.50/metric tonne respectively; as reported by Platts.

Local Market Index and Inventory

According to data obtained from the Bank of Ghana the Ghana Cedi performed relatively well against the U.S. Dollar over the first Pricing-window, and it is expected to appreciate against the Dollar in the coming weeks.

The combined stock of Petrol and Diesel in the country rose significantly from 287million litres to 458million litres, the highest since the past three months. Today, Petrol stocks held in-tank and on vessels is capable of meeting over nine (9) weeks of national consumption, whereas Diesel stock stands to meet close to five (5) weeks of consumption.