DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania’s energy regulatory body on Friday raised the price of petrol in east Africa’s second biggest economy, but left diesel prices unchanged in its latest monthly review.

Fuel prices in Tanzania, like elsewhere in the region, have been rising in recent months, helping to push the annual inflation rate to 19.8 percent in December from 19.2 percent previously.

The Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) said it had raised the petrol price by 1.8 percent to 1,991 shillings per litre in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, while it trimmed the price of kerosene by 0.6 percent to 1,951 shillings per litre.

Diesel prices remained unchanged from the previous review in January at 1,963 shillings per litre.

The new prices took effect from February 1.

The changes stem from world market price moves and how the Tanzania shilling has appreciated 3 percent against the U.S. dollar, EWURA’s Director General Haruna Masebu said in a public notice.

Tanzania began bulk procurement of oil in January and introduced a new price calculation formula in a move aimed at lowering fuel costs.

“Days for which demurrage charges are chargeable have significantly dropped from 15 that were applicable in the previous pricing formula to an average of 4 days per vessel, as a result of the introduction of the bulk procurement system. This has positively contributed to the reduction of local prices,” said Masebu.

In November, the government said it had awarded a $500 million contract to a Swiss company, Augusta Energy, to supply 540,000 tonnes of oil to the country for the first two months of 2012.

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