Pakistan is bracing for another substantial increase in the prices of petroleum products in the upcoming fortnightly review due to the relentless surge in global oil prices. However, a recent depreciation in the value of the rupee against the dollar in the interbank market may somewhat mitigate the anticipated price hike, according to industry experts.

The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) is scheduled to announce the new prices for petrol, diesel, and other petroleum products on September 15. These prices are determined based on the average international crude oil prices and exchange rate fluctuations during the first 15 days of September.

Industry estimates suggest that the price of petrol could soar by Rs16 per litre in the next fortnightly review, while the price of high-speed diesel (HSD) is expected to increase by Rs13.66 per litre.

The ex-depot price of petrol for the forthcoming fortnight is projected at Rs321.35 per litre, compared to its existing price of Rs305.36 per litre, representing a hike of Rs15.99. Similarly, the ex-depot price of HSD is estimated at Rs325.50 per litre, up from its current price of Rs311.84 per litre, indicating an increase of Rs13.66 per litre.

Additionally, the prices of kerosene and light diesel oil (LDO) are anticipated to rise by Rs10.02 and Rs4.45 per litre, respectively.

This significant increase in the ex-depot price can be attributed to the depreciation of the rupee against the dollar, coupled with the uptick in international petroleum product prices.

While the industry anticipates a slight reduction in the exchange rate as the dollar has fallen in the interbank market, it remains uncertain whether this will provide substantial relief to consumers. Industry experts caution that the rise in global oil prices will exert upward pressure on local petroleum product prices, limiting the relief for consumers.

An industry official noted, "The rupee's appreciation will have a positive impact on petroleum prices, but it will not be enough to offset the impact of rising global oil prices."

It's worth noting that the government reviews and adjusts petroleum prices every fortnight, based on Ogra's recommendations. The final decision rests with the finance ministry, which occasionally absorbs part of the increase to ease the burden on consumers. However, the government is obliged to raise fuel prices in accordance with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement under the $3 billion standby agreement.

Written By Web Desk

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