GAS PRICES CLIMB IN SAMOA

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APIA, Samoa (Samoalive, Apr. 2) - The Ministry of Finance published wholesale prices for petrol and diesel effective as from 1 April with petrol prices increasing by 7.4 sene (US 0.26 cents) per liter and diesel by 1.77 sene per liter.

The Ministry of Finance commented today that Asian markets have had a roller coaster ride over the last three months. After a sharp drop from February to March, April prices are a little higher than were February prices.

The Ministry noted that most of the increase in petrol prices is due to the combined movements in international crude oil and Asian petroleum product prices.

Crude oil price peaked at US$37.50 early in March due to mounting Middle East tensions centered on Iraq and Israel and, the OPEC producers threatening to reduce production. Production prices moved up even more. In addition to the higher cost of crude oil, petrol prices were pushed up further by strong demand pressures in the US and surging demand in China, which has posted record economic growth recently.

Prices in Samoa are recalculated every month in the terms of the Supply Agreement Government has with Shell, to precisely reflect movements in the international market. Samoa’s products are imported from Shell’s refinery in Singapore – the main Asian refining center for export cargos. Market commentators do not expect further price increases unless the OPEC producers who meet today announce further cuts in production.

The Ministry stated that consumers always feel the price increases, but we’re all better off with the competitive market based supply contract which Samoa has, because we can be sure the prices will promptly come back down with the market.

April 6, 2004

Samoalive: http://www.samoalive.com/>

 

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