Fuels: The upward trend continues in Morocco, unlike other countries

While fuel prices have fallen sharply on the international market, prices in Morocco seem to be continuing their upward trend, impacting both professionals and individuals who still do not understand the reasons for the persistence of this increase.

Since the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in early 2022, an inflationary wave has taken place, affecting a large number of products, in particular fuels, which have experienced an unprecedented increase worldwide. However, prices have fallen somewhat in recent months in a number of countries, but this has not been felt by Moroccan consumers.

It should be noted that the latter have noted that some multinational companies operating in Morocco still refuse to reduce prices and impose the same tariffs set a few days after the crisis, unlike others who lowered them, thus creating a kind of confusion among motorists.

According to them, this situation is becoming more and more complicated and uncontrollable, especially when they find that diesel prices vary from one station to another and also depend on neighborhoods or sectors. Furthermore, these get no comprehensible explanation for the glaring differences.

Remember that the average price of diesel worldwide is currently 1.32 US dollars or 13.80 dirhams per litre. According to the Global Petrol Prices website, rich countries have higher prices while poorer countries and oil producing and exporting countries have significantly lower prices. An exception is the United States, an economically advanced country with low diesel prices.

According to the price list by country that the site provided on December 26, 2022, Morocco is ranked in 94th position with an average price of 14.50 dirhams, after Fiji, Togo, Guinea and ahead of Tanzania, Congo. and Mali. For example, Egypt, which is in 4th position, offers a liter at 3.06 dirhams while Libya opts for a price of 0.32 dirhams/l. He explains that the price differences between countries are due to the various taxes and subsidies for diesel. The comparison site claims that all countries have access to the same oil prices on international markets, but they impose different taxes. As a result, diesel prices are different.

This situation prompted a group of actors, including parliamentarians to react, the case of the President of the PPS parliamentary group, Rachid Hamouni, who addressed the Minister for Energy Transition, stating that when fuel prices rose, the government explained it by rising energy prices on the international market. But when prices fell without affecting prices at the pump, the government declared that the problem did not lie in the high cost of raw materials but in that of refining and storage. We then replied that Morocco had a refinery and storage tanks. But, here again, the government got entangled in its contradictions by declaring that the question of refining is no longer a priority“.

Several have criticized the Executive for not having applied the decision of the Casablanca Commercial Court authorizing it to rent, in 2020, the storage tanks of the Samir refinery when the price of oil did not exceed 20 dollars a barrel. .

In response, Leila Benali pointed out “that this question had to be asked in due time because this matter was dealt with by the previous government. Indeed, in May 2020, the price of a barrel of oil was around 20 dollars when the previous government requested authorization from the Casablanca commercial court to rent the storage tanks. This court rendered a favorable judgment. And it is the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM) which was responsible for signing the lease contracts. But, after a year of dithering, nothing was done, hence the order canceling the operation of the refiner’s storage tanks“, leaving this file open without valid response to consumers.

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