Pakistan today is announcing petroleum prices for remaining half of November 2023, which will applicable from November 16.
In an eagerly anticipated move, Pakistan is set to unveil the petroleum prices for the remaining half of November 2023, with the new rates slated to take effect from November 16. The fortnightly review of fuel prices, scheduled for November 15, 2023, has triggered speculation that the government may announce a marginal increase in petrol prices, while simultaneously reducing the cost of High Speed Diesel (HSD).
The impending adjustments, which are currently under consideration, are rooted in industry estimates and ongoing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Industry insiders reveal that petrol prices could witness a slight uptick of approximately 1 percent in the upcoming review, while diesel and other petroleum products are expected to experience a notable reduction.
Estimates submitted by the oil industry to the government suggest that the price of diesel could potentially decrease by over Rs8 per litre in the upcoming review. The projected ex-depot price for petrol is likely to rise by Rs3.18, reaching Rs286.56 per litre compared to the current Rs283.38 per litre. Conversely, the ex-depot price of High Speed Diesel (HSD) is expected to witness a substantial decrease of Rs8.30 per litre, settling at Rs294.88 per litre against the current Rs303.18 per litre.
Kerosene prices may see a decline of Rs5.61 per litre, reaching Rs205.42 per litre from the current Rs211.03 per litre. Similarly, Light Speed Diesel (LDO) might experience a reduction of Rs8.33 at the ex-depot level, bringing the price down to Rs181.13 per litre compared to the existing Rs189.46 per litre.
While industry insiders stress that the final decision rests with the government, some experts speculate that the government may opt to maintain the status quo on petrol prices. However, a reduction in the price of HSD is considered a possibility, particularly given the ongoing negotiations with the IMF for a Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) and the imperative for additional revenue mobilization.
Despite the decline in global crude oil prices, the recent appreciation of the dollar against the Pakistani Rupee has offset potential consumer benefits. Analysts note that the currency’s recent strengthening, with the dollar settling at Rs287.55 on Monday, has nullified the gains from the reduction in global oil prices. This contrasts sharply with the substantial benefits consumers could have enjoyed from decreased fuel prices if not for the recent strength of the currency.
As the nation eagerly awaits the November 15 review, the government finds itself engaged in a delicate balancing act, weighing global market dynamics against domestic economic imperatives to determine the direction of fuel prices for the latter half of November 2023.