Convenience Store’s Teibi Ioteba at the shop’s petrol station earlier this year. Petrol prices continue to rise in Cook Islands. Photo: FILE/RASHNEEL KUMAR/22031320
The price at the petrol pump has increased substantially, with supply issues and Russia’s conflict with Ukraine being two major factors.
The Price Tribunal’s notice, placed in the Cook Islands News on Tuesday and Wednesday, informs the public that in Rarotonga, the maximum allowable petrol and diesel prices will increase from $2.61 per litre to $2.89 per litre – a jump of 11 per cent.
It comes after the
maximum allowable price had been held at $2.61 per litre for several months.
president Louis Enoka said the Middle East and Asian regions have seen a
tumultuous couple of years with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and
recently, the war in Ukraine.
“There have been,
and continue to be, fuel-supply chain disruptions,” Enoka said.
this, larger (mainly European) economies and countries are purchasing energy
and feedstock at unprecedented levels, to the detriment of smaller economies
and countries that paved the road for tougher fuel export conditions for us.
“With the new price order initiated this week, we are
now on par with NZ pricing. This is a huge bonus and benefit at this point in
time for us in the Cook Islands.”
the feedback from retailers, Enoka said “at this point in time, it has been to
a large extent accepted and more so expected”.
inevitable increase in fuel price is a combination of market uncertainty,
increased freight costs, availability, supply and demand; and to a lesser but
noticeable extent, the war in Ukraine,” he said.
“Purchase price, freight, operational costs of plant,
exchange rates and our extremely small volumes: every step of the way has
the maximum allowable price of petrol is set at $3.22 per litre, while in the
Southern Group of the Pa Enua it is $3.71 and $3.86 in the Northern Group.
Diesel is $3.08 per litre in Aitutaki, $3.52 in the Southern Group of the Pa
Enua and $3.62 in the Northern Group.
the reason for the large discrepancy in prices compared to Rarotonga comes down
to the added freight component of domestic shipping, along with extra handling
and devanning costs with smaller volumes to each Island.
Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) senior macroeconomist Tristan Metcalfe
said the increases will have an impact on living costs.
costs tend to have a broader impact as they are felt at each step in the supply
chain, adding to the cost of getting goods landed, as well as the direct cost
of fuel itself,” Metcalfe said.
increases in fuel prices are one of the more difficult price increases to avoid
impacts from, as there are limited alternatives available and prices are set on
a global level.”
Metcalfe said while these increases were difficult to avoid, there were
some small changes that might help if they are available to people.
using motorbikes instead of cars where possible uses less fuel and is cheaper,
and walking or cycling are also alternatives that also provide health benefits.
We do recognise that some of these alternatives aren’t always available for
various reasons though,” he said.
Cooks’ Island Bus Passenger Transport general manager Danny Cook said it would not be
increasing bus fares in the immediate future, but would “monitor the situation
as it progresses”.
“We’re not going
to make any changes just yet,” Cook said.