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Prices drop

Thursday, October 16, 2008

CONSUMERS can breathe a sigh of relief as the price of fuel decreases from today after a major jump in August.

Motor Spirit decreased by 11 cents per litre, Diesel decreased by 26 cents, Kerosene by 19cents while premix outboard fuel decreased by 12 cents.

In a statement yesterday, Prices and Income board said the drop in oil prices reflected concerns that the financial crisis in the United States of America and Europe would lead to a global slowdown and a drop in demand for oil.

The board said strengthening of the US dollar would directly impact fuel prices and the next few months should see price reductions in the Fiji market. Fuel prices fall below US $80 (FJ$140) a barrel as a result of the financial crisis.

The decrease in fuel products of all items was a second decrease in past eight months, after it increased six times this year.

Consumer Council of Fiji has called upon businesses to reduce the price of goods and services that uses energy for production.

Council chief executive Premila Kumar said the reduction in price of fuel should also see a removal of fuel surcharge.

"This would be a relief to the poor who uses Kerosene for cooking," Mrs Kumar said.

Fiji Employers Federation chief executive Ken Roberts said it was good news for commercial sector which has a large fleet.

It should bring down the cost of doing business to some extend, Mr Roberts said.

Fiji Taxi Union general secretary Rishi Ram said it was a relief for the union as it has been fighting for the taxi fare increase for long now.

"We hope that it would decrease more in future," said Mr Ram.

Fiji Bus Operators Association spokesperson Jasper Singh said the decrease has been delayed as the association expected a decrease earlier this month.

'The everyday delay puts an additional cost to our operations as fuel constitutes about 40 percent of expenses," Mr Singh said.

Shop and Save supermarket director Rattan Deo said the decrease would not bring the cost of doing business down for their supermarkets.

Mr Deo said when the price of goods and services increased as a result of fuel prices before, the supermarket absorbed the price.

For 35 year housewife, Anjila Devi of Wailea settlement in Vatuwaqa the decrease in price ok Kerosene was more than a relief.

Ms Devi, who use to spend $50 month of Kerosene, will now save around $10 per month.

"It looks like a small decrease but for my family its huge".

Ms Devi, whose husband is a carpenter, said any decrease whether it was "little" was good for the poor.

Effective today motor spirits (petrol) will cost $2.16 per litre, a reduction of 11 cents.

Diesel will cost 26 cents less at $2.02 per litre.

Kerosene prices will fall 19 cents per litre from $2.05 to $1.86 and premix - used in outboard engines and brush cutters will now cost $2.10, a reduction of 12 cents per litre.

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