TODAY marks an increase in Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) prices and some fuel prices.
This was confirmed by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Commerce Commission chairman Dr Mahendra Reddy at a Fuel Price Review for the first quarter yesterday afternoon.
LPG prices have increased by 17 per cent across the board, kerosene has increased by two cents, motor spirit has increased by one cent and premix has decreased by three cents.
Diesel prices, however, will remain the same, Dr Reddy confirmed.
Households will now pay $17.76 for a 4.5kilogram cylinder of LPG instead of $15.12, while a 12kilogram cylinder will now cost $47.36, up from $40.32.
This difference also applies to a kilogram of bulk LPG, which increases from $2.69 to $3.16.
Autogas has also increased by 19 per cent a litre, from $1.85 to $2.21.
"The quarterly reviews take place in respect of these commodities. As far as these commodities are concerned of course, we are essentially at the mercy of world price changes that take place in a global market and of course the various conditions that exist in the global market," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said yesterday.
He added that given the time of year, this was no surprise.
"We have generally seen that in the quarter for the end of Jan and in particular at this time of the year we have seen that the fuel prices tend to increase because there's a lot of pressure on the demand for energy because of winter in the northern hemisphere," he said.
"In Europe, we have seen an extended winter and of course we have seen certain tensions in the Middle East where a lot of these commodities come from, so as a result of which, we have always seen that prices tend to increase because of the pressure in that part of the world," he said.
The increases, however, are below the prices which existed last June, when a 12kilogram cylinder of LPG cost $54.
"We have had big fluctuations in the price of gas over the past few months but we are still on the lower end of the scale compared to seven months ago," the Attorney-General said.
"We hope to inculcate further within the Fijian people at large that they need to understand and watch the trend in the global market because as we know, we are not the country in the region that decides the price of such commodities.
"It is basically the global market that decides the prices and we are the price takers."