The prices of kerosene, diesel and petrol in Kenya have risen further following a decision by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to increase the cost of petrol, diesel and kerosene by 4.21, 2.61 and 3.91 shillings respectively. The news follows a recent fuel shortage in Nairobi resulting in petrol stations running out of fuel and panic buying in surrounding towns.
The ERC blamed the increase costs on political unrest in north Africa and the Middle East. Traditionally these factors tend to bring about increased international oil prices but in the last month the opposite has been the case, with falling oil prices around the world.
The news is affecting the viability of thousands of small businesses which are struggling to absorb the rising costs without passing them on to customers. Prices of essential products continue to rise in Kenya, with fuel up by 20.44 per cent in April compared to the same month last year, and food up by 19.14 per cent.