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Gasoline prices spike in Kazakhstan

22 august 2014, 23:39
Photo ©Turar Kazangapov
Photo ©Turar Kazangapov

Gasoline prices have considerably raised in oil producing Kazakhstan, Tengrinews reports.

The information was released by the Ministry of National Economy of Kazakhstan yesterday, August 21. The order said: "Price caps on retail sales of petroleum products that are subject to state price regulation shall be set at the following level including VAT: diesel - 115 tenge per liter ($0.63), AI-80 - 89 tenge per liter ($0.49), AI-92/93 - 128 tenge per liter ($0.70)."

This increased the prices on diesel fuel by 12.7%, on AI-80 and AI-92/92 by 11.3% in one step.

The top-selling AI-92 was previously sold at 115 tenge per liter ($0.63). Diesel was worth 102 tenge per liter ($0.56) and AI-80 – 89 tenge per liter ($0.49). This is the first price change on diesel and gasoline since November 2013.

Yesterday, before there came the announcement of the price rise, Erlan Koibagarov, Vice Director General for Marketing of KazMunaiGas Processing & Marketing, stressed that it was necessary to raise the prices by 10-15%. He did not specify the timing for the new price adjustment, but said that it was for the applicable government authority to take the decision.

“According to the Company’s experts, there are two factors in favor of raising the prices … these are the 20% currency devaluation that took place in February and seasonal price hikes given the growing demand (during harvesting season). We suppose the anticipated 10-15% raise will constitute a fair price,” he said.

Koibagarov, nevertheless, implied that the prices would not be raised in August when he said that Uzakbai Karabalin’s statement made last month was valid.

Namely, this was the statment Uzakbai Karabalin, then oil and gas minister, made three weeks ago: “On August 1 the prices on gasoline and diesel will stay the same and will persist until the end of the month, most probably. Discussions on price adjustments are held monthly since January. The discussion has been ongoing with the Natural Monopolies Regulation Agency and the Ministry of Economy. Naturally, this does not mean that every discussion makes petroleum products more expensive. As you can see, stability is maintained. Gasoline is cheaper in Kazakhstan than in the countries it borders with," he said.

In addition, KazMunaiGas Onimderi, the sole national operator of fuel supplies from the neighboring Russia, said on August 15 that there was no reason to worry about shortages of gasoline as there was sufficient supplies to meet the domestic demand in the nearest week or two. The company suggested that one of the reasons for fuel shortages could be that retail market players were deliberately cutting their sales to create a rush in hopes for a prices hikes.

On the other hand, Bolat Auetayev, Head of the Kazakh Association of Fuel Market Players, admitted early August that gas stations in Kazakhstan’s biggest city Almaty and across the country were facing fuel shortages.

By Dinara Urazova

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