Kenya’s oil import bill has dropped considerably as the cost of crude oil remains low globally. Oil
Kenya is importing an average of 184 million U.S. dollars of oil per month, down from over 430 million dollars less than a year ago, new economic data from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) showed Friday.
The drop in the import bill makes fuel and lubricants Kenya’s third largest import commodity, after industrial supplies and machinery and capital equipment.
For several years, the petroleum products have been Kenya’s second biggest import item, accounting for 25 percent of total imports. However, they now account for 15 percent of the total imports as oil consumption stands at 4.5 million tons annually, according to Ministry of Energy and Petroleum.
In January, Kenya imported oil worth 198 million dollars, according to the economic data. The oil import bill went down to 178 million dollars in February and further dropped to 160 million dollars in March, bringing to total the amount of fuel shipped in the first quarter to 536 million dollars.
This was a drop from the previous quarter, where the bill stood at 780 million dollars. And as of April, the country had imported fuel worth 734 million dollars as crude oil prices in the international market continued to stabilize.
The price of oil per barrel dropped from a high of 100 dollars where they had remained since 2011 to 50 dollars per barrel in January.
The cost of the item in the international market has now stabilized at 60 dollars per barrel, making Kenyans still enjoy the lowest fuel prices in years.
Analysts noted that the low global fuel price have helped to keep the import bill low despite the declining shilling, which is currently exchanging against the dollar at 96.
However, as the import bill drops, consumption of various fuel products has remained high, standing at 332,000 metric tons (MT) per month despite an increase in retail prices.
A litre of super petrol in the capital Nairobi is currently being sold at 0.96 dollars, up from 0.92 dollars in Energy Regulatory Commission last month review.
Diesel, on the other hand, is going for 0.82 dollars from 0.80 dollars a litre. Kerosene, used by millions of Kenyans, is being sold at 0.61 dollars, a rise of 0.02 dollars.
The most used fuel product is light diesel oil, followed by petrol, motor spirit and kerosene, among others. Kenyans consume an average of 150,000MT of light diesel per month, while aviation gasoline is the least consumed, at 1,600MT monthly.
Liquefied Petroleum Gas is also among fuel products whose consumption has been on the decline despite prices dropping. Enditem



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