The downstream oil market is expecting to increase their product prices in coming days.

The quantum leap in prices increase of up to 14 percent is a major devastating development yet to hit consumers.

This could be the biggest increase in petroleum prices in a particular pricing window in decades.

The geometric increase is necessitated by the continuous hike in crude oil prices on the international market due to the current tropical storms in the United States oil-rich state, Texas.

Known for its pine forest and oil reserves in the southern US, Texas has been buffeted by Hurricane Harvey which has affected its key cities such as Houston and Corpus Christi.

More than 10 refineries, which produce more than three million barrels of crude a day, has been shut down.

The development has affected orders that should have been heading to some sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries like Ghana, resulting in the return of some petroleum products to the US to shore up demand in that country.

Also, the current summer conditions in Europe have doubled the demand for petrol, further impacting the price of crude currently trading at $54 a tonne.

The cumulative effect of the two factors is likely to cause price hikes in petroleum products in Ghana.

Per calculations, a gallon of diesel now selling at GHC18.58 pesewas could go to a little over GHC20, while a gallon of petrol which goes for over GHC18 might go up to GHC21.15 pesewas.

But, consumers in Ghana can heave a sigh of relief because of the current policy which gives the power to the over 90 Oil Marketing Companies to set their own prices.

Sources say it is unlikely all the OMCs will increase their prices by the margin, adding the price hike will be for a moment until high demand for crude wanes when winter comes.

-Adnan Adams Mohammed

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