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FG May Further Cut Petrol Price – PPPRA

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Shell filling station In Nigeria

The continued fall in crude oil price may lead to a further cut in the pump price of petrol by the Federal Government any time soon, the outgoing Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, Mr. Farouk Ahmed, has said.

The PPPRA is the agency of the Federal Government that regulates and fixes prices for petroleum products in the country.

The agency had late December 2015 stated that the pricing template for petroleum products would be reviewed occasionally to reflect fluctuations in the price of crude oil in the international market.

While handing over to the most senior officer of the PPPRA, Mr. Moses Mbaba, in Abuja on Thursday, Ahmed noted that as of February 3, 2016, about one month after the review of the pricing template of petrol, the country had saved N2.6bn as over-recovery on the product.

He was, however, quick to state that the value was low because some of the over-recoveries were still arriving.

He stated that the decision on the review of the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, would be taken next month by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, after due consultation with stakeholders, and based on the price of crude oil in the international market.

When asked if the price could be reduced in the future considering the fall in crude oil prices, Ahmed said, “Yes, but wait till March and you will see. Because the minister is fair in the decision he will take, and because he will take the decision pragmatically.”

He added that due to the current state of over-recovery, the PPPRA was recovering some money from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and oil marketers.

Ahmed also noted that as of February 16, 2016, the country recorded over-recovery of N13.81 per litre of petrol, stating that this meant that the landing cost of PMS was lower than the selling price by N13.81.

However, as of the close of business on Thursday, the over-recovery had dropped to N11.74 per litre.

Ahmed explained that on instances of over-recovery, the PPPRA usually sends notes to affected marketers to refund the excess money to the government, adding that the fund was being kept in an account that was recently opened at the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He said, “There has been an account launched at the CBN and being managed by the Accountant-General of the Federation where the over-recovery funds are deposited. So, there is no question of where the money goes to.

“As of February 3, 2016, the estimate in that account, because we are verifying based on what was imported, is just a small amount of about N2.6bn. But this is just the beginning, because some of them were just arriving in December; that is why the subsidy over-recovery is low.

“The fact is that whatever money that will be put into that account, one day, which is our hope that the price of crude oil will go up, there will be more revenue inflow to the Federation Account. The oil sector will benefit. That excess, before you go to the government for any intervention, you go to that account and pull some money and compensate.”

He, however, noted that the over-recovery might disappear if the price of crude oil rises by next month.

Ahmed stated that the process of the review of the pricing template would likely commence by March 15, 2016, and the committee to undertake the review would consist of all the stakeholders in the petroleum industry, including major and independent oil marketers as well as depot owners.

The outgoing PPPRA boss stated, “The recent price modulation mechanism and review of the agency’s pricing template, which took effect from January 1, 2016, has ushered in the much-needed efficiency and cost-saving as far as subsidy payment exposure is concerned.

“This has partly led us to a regime of over-recovery, enabling the government to collect money back from the marketers into the designated over-recovery account at the CBN.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Gold

Gold Prices Rise as Soft Dollar Supports Safe-haven Appeal

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gold bars - Investors King

Gold prices firmed on Monday, propped up by a subdued dollar and slight retreat in the U.S. Treasury yields, with investors gearing up for a week of speeches from U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers for cues on the central bank’s rate hike path.

Spot gold was up 0.5% at $1,759.06 per ounce, as of 0400 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.4% at $1,759.00.

While the dollar index softened, the benchmark 10-year Treasury yields eased after hitting their highest since early-July. A weaker dollar offered support to gold prices, making bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies.

“Gold is still looking slightly precarious where it is right now, and it’s probably bouncing off key technical level around $1,750,” IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda said.

“Gold remains an yield story and that yield story is very much tied back to the tapering story.”

A slew of Fed officials are due to speak this week including Chairman Jerome Powell, who will testify this week before Congress on the central bank’s policy response to the pandemic.

“There’ll be a lot of questions being put to Fed speakers about what the dot plots implied last week and weather there is higher risk of heightened inflation going forward and that rate hikes could be coming in the first half of 2022,” Rodda added.

A pair of Federal Reserve policymakers said on Friday they felt the U.S. economy is already in good enough shape for the central bank to begin to withdraw support for the economy.

Gold is often considered a hedge against higher inflation, but a Fed rate hike would increase the opportunity cost of holding gold, which pays no interest.

Investors also kept a close watch on developments in debt-laden property giant China Evergrande saga as the firm missed a payment on offshore bonds last week, with further payment due this week.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, increased 0.1% to 993.52 tonnes on Friday from 992.65 tonnes in the prior session.

Silver rose 0.9% to $22.61 per ounce.

Platinum climbed 1.3% to $994.91, while palladium gained 0.7% to $1,985.32.

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Crude Oil

Brent Crude Oil Near $80 Per Barrel Amid Supply Constraints

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Brent crude oil - Investors King

Oil prices rose for a fifth straight day on Monday with Brent heading for $80 amid supply concerns as parts of the world sees demand pick up with the easing of pandemic conditions.

Brent crude was up $1.14 or 1.5% at $79.23 a barrel by 0208 GMT, having risen a third consecutive week through Friday. U.S. Oil added $1.11 or 1.5% to $75.09, its highest since July, after rising for a fifth straight week last week.

“Supply tightness continues to draw on inventories across all regions,” ANZ Research said in a note.

Rising gas prices as also helping drive oil higher as the liquid becomes relatively cheaper for power generation, ANZ analysts said in the note.

Caught short by the demand rebound, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, known as OPEC+, have had difficulty raising output as under-investment or maintenance delays persist from the pandemic.

China’s first public sale of state oil reserves has barely acted to cap gains as PetroChina and Hengli Petrochemical bought four cargoes totalling about 4.43 million barrels.

India’s oil imports hit a three-month peak in August, rebounding from nearly one-year lows reached in July, as refiners in the second-biggest importer of crude stocked up in anticipation of higher demand.

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Crude Oil

Oil Holds Near Highest Since 2018 With Global Markets Tightening

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Crude Oil - Investors King

Oil held steady near the highest close since 2018, with the global energy crunch set to increase demand for crude as stockpiles fall from the U.S. to China.

Futures in London headed for a third weekly gain. Global onshore crude stocks sank by almost 21 million barrels last week, led by China, according to data analytics firm Kayrros, while U.S. inventories are near a three-year low. The surge in natural gas prices is expected to force some consumers to switch to oil, tightening the market further ahead of the northern hemisphere winter.

China on Friday sold oil to Hengli Petrochemical Co. and a unit of PetroChina Co. in the first auction of crude from its strategic reserves said traders with the knowledge of the matter. Grades sold included Oman, Upper Zakum and Forties.

Oil has rallied recently after a period of Covid-induced demand uncertainty, with some of the world’s largest traders and banks predicting prices may climb further amid the energy crisis. Global crude consumption could rise by an additional 370,000 barrels a day if natural gas costs stay high, according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

“Underpinning the latest bout of price strength is a tightening supply backdrop,” said Stephen Brennock, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd.

Various underlying oil market gauges are also pointing to a strengthening market. The key spread between Brent futures for December and a year later is near $7, the strongest since 2019. That’s a sign traders are positive about the market outlook.

At the same time, the premium options traders are paying for bearish put options is the smallest since January 2020, another indication that traders are less concerned about a pullback in prices.

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