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Oil rates fall 30pc in world markets but steady in Kabul

Oil rates fall 30pc in world markets but steady in Kabul

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Nov 27, 2018 - 18:30

KABUL (Pajhwok): Oil prices plunged 30 percent in international markets over the last one and a half months, but their rates in Kabul remain steady despite no significant depreciation of the Afghan currency during this period.

Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) says the fall in the Afghan currency’s value against the American USD, high demand for fuel in winter and economic sanctions on Iran led to a decrease in petroleum exports to Afghanistan and thus their prices increased in Kabul.

According to DIALY FX, the price of one barrel of crude oil fell by an average rate from $79.2 to $55.75 or by 30 percent in the US and British fuel markets between early October this year and November 27 or today.

However, Pajhwok Afghan News’s weekly economic reports show no considerable change in fuel prices during this particular period.

Shafiqullah Attai, ACCI head, told Pajhwok Afghan News that before sanctions on Iran, Afghanistan imported a large amount of petroleum from the neighboring country, but Afghanistan’s fuel imports reduced after sanctions imposed on the Islamic country.

He said the ACCI would discuss with oil traders finding alternatives and ways to import oil to the country.

Eng. Jahid Jawhari, deputy head of Fuel Management and Control Authority, said the depreciation of the Afghan currency against the USD was main reason behind high fuel prices in Afghanistan.

However, the Afghan currency value remains almost unchanged against the USD during the period when fuel prices declined in international markets.

According to Pajhwok reports, one USD was exchanged for 69 afghanis in March, 70 afs in April, 71 afs in June, 72.5 afs in July and 75 afs in mid-August. On Tuesday, one USD was sold for 75.92afs.

Sayed Ahmad, a resident of Mirwais Maidan area of Kabul, said, “Whenever goods’ prices go up in international markets, their rates immediately jump in Afghanistan, but when their prices fall in international markets, our traders refuse to follow suit and make different excuses.”

He said the lack of government’s control over open market was also a reason behind high fuel rates.

Afghanistan imports above 4.5 million tons of petroleum including diesel, petrol and liquefied gas from Asian countries annually.

mds/ma

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