Omicron variant impacts fuel prices
Local motorists can expect a slight decrease in petrol prices starting 1 January 2022 due to impact of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant.
This was revealed in a statement from the Ministry of Finance signed by the Minister Mulipola Anarosa Ale-Molio'o.
The statement advised that the new changes in retail petroleum product prices to apply from the 1st January 2022.
The retail prices from 1–31 January 2022: petrol $3.03 per litre; diesel $2.93 per litre; kerosene $2.54 per litre.
The Minister announced the decrease in the retail prices for petrol by 12.04 sene per litre from $3.15 to $3.03 while diesel the prices also drop by 9.93 sene per litre from $3.03 to $2.93.
Prices for kerosene will also drop by 12.71 sene per litre from $2.66 to $2.54.
The marker prices for January 2022 are based on the November calculation for the average price of fuel in Singapore (also known as the Mean Platts of Singapore or M.O.P.S.)
“International Product Prices decreased in November, M.O.P.S. decreasing by US$ 2.5 - 4.00/bbl,” read the statement.
“Freight Rates and the SAT/US$ were relatively stable.
“The main cause for the market fall is attributed to the emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant which has caused another wave of infections around the world.”
According to a graph also released with the statement, the Samoa Max wholesale price from February 2021 to January 2022 showed that the month of December 2021 had the highest of prices recorded compared to all months under the period reviewed.
However, January 2022 is the second highest month recorded for prices. The broader wholesale price in Samoa has been increasing since March 2021 with slight decreases recorded in October 2021 followed by some of the highest petrol prices.
The World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) has labeled the newly discovered strain as a "variant of concern."
The variant, named Omicron was first reported to the W.H.O. from South Africa on 24 November 2021. However, the first known confirmed infection was from a specimen collected on 9 November 2021.
Countries such as Fiji and New Zealand have recorded cases of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant.