Monday, January 01, 2018

Rumours of Butane Price Increase Cause Concern

The main topic of discussion on the streets and in the cafes of the Fez Medina today was not the new year, but rather the price of bottled butane gas, which is said to be subject to a major price increase

The rumour on the street is that the price of a 12 kilogram refill will rise from around 40 Moroccan Dirhams to 120. This massive price increase is said to take place in the new year. If true, it is not good news for struggling Moroccan families who use butane for heating and cooking.

The overwhelming reaction has been a mixture of anger and disbelief. "Moroccan people won't stand for this," says Oumima (19), a Fez university student.

Morocco is a major importer of butane as its population uses more than two million mt per year - most of it in 12 kilogram bottles at present costing 42 dirhams - and almost all of it imported.

That was already the case before Samir's Mohammedia refinery, Morocco's only refinery, stopped production a couple of years ago.

While rumours rumbled over a possible price spike of gas cylinders, Lahcen Daoudi, the minister responsible for general affairs and governance, officially denies any increase, saying the information circulating on this subject is "unfounded".

The minister assured in a statement to saying  that "the government will continue to subsidise butane gas, sugar and flour through the compensation system, in order to protect the purchasing power of citizens."

The minister also described as "rumours" this information whose authors aim "to create a feeling of panic among citizens and social tension, and disrupt the action of the government."


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