The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) is currently supplying approximately 37,000 tonnes of diesel and 19,000 tonnes of petrol daily to the domestic market to provide for normal needs, according to official spokesperson for the Ministry of Petroleum Hamdy Abdel Aziz.
This follows a surprise increase in consumption took place on Friday following the announcement that fuel prices would increase.
Abdel Aziz said EGPC pumped 40,000 tonnes of diesel and 20,000 tonnes of petrol into the market last Friday as a result of increased consumption rates. Consumers began storing quantities of petrol and diesel during the last five hours that the old price was effective in order to sell the products on the black market.
He anticipates that petroleum product consumption rates will stabilise on the local market in the coming days after the new prices are implemented and consumers begin to interact with them.
Petrol and diesel consumption rates stabilised yesterday evening, according to Manager of the Total Petroleum Station in Haram Tamer Ahmed.
Egyptians “surrendered to the inevitable”, he said, after the government stressed that the decision to increase petroleum product prices was irreversible.
Reactions varied among those who use natural gas to operate motor vehicles. Natural gas prices increased by 120% to EGP 1.10 from EGP 0.45, according to Ahmed.
Ahmed mentioned that Egypt imports approximately $800m per month worth of shipments of fuel oil, diesel, butane gas, and petrol to provide for the growing needs of the domestic market.
The government reduced petroleum subsidies in the budget for the 2014/2015 fiscal year from EGP 143bn to approximately EGP 100bn. The fuel subsidy bill for FY 2013/2014 reached EGP 135bn.
In past years, the value of petroleum product subsidies increased by EGP 10bn annually, and previous governments always feared dealing with the fuel subsidies issue in anticipation of inflated prices for market goods and services.