Understanding the Surge in Cooking Gas Prices Amidst Dropping Fuel Costs Introduction In recent weeks, Kenyans in select areas are grappling with a significant spike in the cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas. Despite a drop in fuel prices, the expenses for refilling gas cylinders have surged, leaving households facing financial strain.
Price Fluctuations Across Regions A comprehensive analysis reveals startling price hikes across different regions. A spot check conducted by Kamikazenews.com highlights the surge, with a 6kg gas cylinder witnessing a rise from Ksh1,200 in September 2023 to approximately Ksh1,400 in January 2024. The larger 13kg cylinder, which was priced at Ksh2,400 last year, now commands Ksh2,900. As of January 17, 2024, a 6kg cylinder was retailing at Ksh1,250, with the 13kg counterpart reaching Ksh2,500 along Thika Road. Uthiru experiences higher prices, reaching Ksh1,300 for a 6kg cylinder and Ksh2,800 for the 13kg variant, with some brands even soaring to Ksh2,900.
In Embakasi, retailers have elevated the cost of a 6kg cylinder to an average of Ksh1,380, while a 13kg cylinder commands Ksh3,160. Meanwhile, Ruaka residents enjoy comparatively lower rates, with a 6kg cylinder priced at Ksh2,150 and the 13kg variant at Ksh2,700. Anecdotal evidence from a Kitengela resident reveals a payment of Ksh3,050 for a 13kg cylinder just before the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) announced the new fuel prices.
Unraveling the Price Surge The incremental increase in gas prices, especially evident in the last quarter of 2023, poses a financial burden on households already grappling with economic challenges. Questions arise as observers query the steady surge in LPG prices, a paradox considering the recorded decrease in fuel prices over the past two months. EPRA’s decision to lower fuel prices contrasts sharply with the upward trajectory in cooking gas costs.
In December 2023, petrol, diesel, and kerosene prices saw a significant reduction, yet LPG prices continued to rise. Super Petrol, Diesel, and Kerosene currently retail at Ksh207.36, Ksh196.47, and Ksh194.23 in Nairobi, reflecting a decrease from the previous rates. The Tax Conundrum In October 2023, the Cabinet proposed the removal of all taxes on LPG to enhance affordability. This move came after the scrapping of the eight per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) in the Finance Act 2023, aligning with the nation’s commitment to transitioning towards green energy.However, the intended benefits are not being realized as gas prices persist in their upward trajectory.