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Ethiopia's fuel prices rise by 20%

Ethiopia's fuel prices rise by 20%
An employee directs cars as they line up for gas at a Costco store in Matthews...   -  
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Chuck Burton/AP2008 -

Ethiopia

Fuel prices in Ethiopia rose by about 20% on Thursday (September 29), less than three months after a previous 30-40% hike, as part of the phasing out of government subsidies for petroleum products.

Faced with soaring crude oil prices this year, which are widening the state's deficit, the Ethiopian government decided to phase out all fuel subsidies in July.

"Although international oil prices showed some stability in September, the difference remains significant compared to those in our country," the trade ministry said in a statement released Wednesday evening.

The ministry said to "reflect the international market, new prices were set" on Thursday.

The consequences were swift at the pump. The price of petrol rose by 19.83%, from 47.83 to 57.05 birr (1.12 euro), and that of diesel and paraffin rose by 22.19%, from 49.02 to 59.90 birr (1.18 euro).

In total, since December, petrol and diesel prices in Ethiopia have more than doubled, increasing by 120% and 157% respectively.

Fuel subsidies are reviewed every three months. 

The first stage of subsidy removal in July saw the price of petrol jump by almost 30% and diesel by almost 40%.

The government - which has a monopoly on the import of fuel, transported by road from Djibouti to landlocked Ethiopia - had already raised retail prices in December 2021 and again in May 2022.

Analysts say the conflict in the breakaway region of Tigray, which has been going on for two years, is taking a heavy toll on Ethiopia's economy because of the cost to the public finances and the reluctance of international donors and investors.

According to the World Bank, the country, the second most populous on the continent with 115 million inhabitants, is also one of the poorest in the region.

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