Morocco to cap fuel prices in March, according to Lahcen Daoudi

Morocco is to start capping fuel prices in March, General Affairs Minister Lahcen Daoudi said in a video published by his party’s website. The decision comes after it was announced in 2018.

General Affairs Minister Lahcen Daoudi./Ph. DR
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As initiated by the government in July, the Kingdom is capping fuel prices in March. In a video shared Wednesday, January the 30th, by the Justice and Development Party website, General Affairs and Public Government Minister Lahcen Daoudi said that a «capping mechanism is coming», reports Bloomberg.

Daoudi, who said last year that the government would monitor fuel prices for one year, stressed that the decision will be implemented «between the end of February and the middle of March».

In the same video, the Minister explained that the Conseil de la Concurrence, a Moroccan authority charged with combatting anti-competitive practices, will have to take a look at the «government’s request on fuel prices on February the 14th».

Oil companies and Daoudi's decision

Speaking to Yabiladi on Friday, Adil Ziyadi from the association of oil companies in Morocco (Groupement des pétroliers du Maroc) said that the body «was not informed of the decision announced by the Minister».

«We have held a couple of meetings with the Minister, but we have no idea about the recent plan», Ziyadi said, stressing that the association «will have to wait to see how the measure is progressing».

Commenting on capping fuel prices, Ziyadi said that the «plan would affect the sector, especially as several oil companies have been investing in the Kingdom since 2015».

The decision is a response to the major boycott campaign launched in April, 2018, by Moroccans to protest the high cost of living. The campaign targeted three major companies, including the country’s leading fuel distributor Afriquia SMDC, owned by Minister of Agriculture Aziz Akhannouch. Capping will focus on «adjusting» fuel prices every 15 days, said Daoudi in a 2018 interview with Bloomberg.

For the record, the Moroccan government decided in 2015 to lift the cap on fuel distributors in an attempt to reduce current consumption and improve the national economy. The lift was, however, highly criticized, as fuel distributors’ profits in the country skyrocketed.