Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Gambia but also the Central African Republic, Chad, Uganda or Kenya … Many countries on the continent are facing sky-high fuel prices and sometimes even stock withdrawals at the pump. How can this situation be explained beyond the constraints that all regions of the world are currently facing, such as the price increase due to the price increase on shipping?
A large number of countries on the African continent import fuels with less stringent specifications than other regions of the world. With the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, states now have to procure supplies elsewhere, in markets that are already cramped and in product ranges that are inherently more expensive.
Another problem is limited storage capacity in most states. In Mali, for example, it is about 40,000 m³, which corresponds to about a week of independence, explains a specialist in the sector. In Guinea, we encounter the same difficulty with 60,000 m³ of storage capacity for diesel, while consumption amounts to more than 100,000 m³ per month.
In addition, some states have taken steps to limit price increases at the pump, reducing margins for independent operators. In the absence of sufficient profitability, some refrain from importing fuel, which dries up certain markets, further details about this specialist.
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The countries that do best today are those like Mauritania that have price correction mechanisms that compensate operators and those that, like Niger, refine oil on their land.