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Economist warns of a bumpy road ahead ……as petrol prices increase by 23 percent in one year

03 August 2018 Author   CHAMWE KAIRA
The prices of petrol have gone up by 23 percent in the past one year, Daniel Kavishe, Market Research Manager at FNB Namibia said this week.
He calculated that for an average 45-litre tank, it will now cost at least N$565 to fill up versus N$473 at this time last year -assuming you are fuelling up in Walvis Bay.
This week, the Ministry of Mines and Energy announced a price increase of 25 cents per litre to factor in the increase in fuel tax from 40 cents to 65 cents per litre that happened in July after an increase in fuel prices in June 2018.
“This latest petrol hike in Namibia has led to fuel prices in Walvis Bay increasing to N$12.55 per litre for unleaded petrol,  N$12.88 per litre for500ppm diesel   and N$ 12.93 per litre for 50ppm diesel,” Kavishe said.
He said many imports to Namibia are via road which means that many items will become more expensive again, hitting the already embattled consumer.
“The timing remains unfortunate and with other transport related services expected to adjust upwards, consumers should prepare for a more expensive road ahead.”
Even before this week’s increase, the Namibia Transport and Taxi Union threatened that it will increase taxi fares by 50 percent effective 1 September. 
But transport minister John Mutorwa warned last week that such an increase will be illegal leading to public transport permits being withdrawn.
Mutorwa said the law only allows for an increase that is not more than 10 percent.
The Institute for Public Policy Research said in its July Economy Watch Report that the price of fuel is not only the direct impact of fuel price rises on the consumer, but also second-round effects through producers that face higher input costs.
According to information from the Social Accounting Matrix 2013, the fishing sector is most affected by rising fuel prices, since fuel accounts on average for 29 percent of input costs.
Fuel contributes about 24 percent to total input costs of the transport sector, 20 percent to base-metal mining, 16 percent to electricity generation and 11 percent to uranium mining.
“It can be expected that increasing input and transportation costs will be passed on to the consumer,” the IPPR said.

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