Tunisia increases fuel prices for fourth time this year amid ailing economy

Tunisia increases fuel prices for fourth time this year amid ailing economy
The Tunisian government attributed the fuel price hike to Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February this year, which increased gas and fuel prices worldwide.
2 min read
18 September, 2022
Fuel and commodity prices in Tunisia have increased often in recent years in the North African country which has been suffering from tumbling economy [Getty]

The price of fuel in Tunisia has increased for the fourth time this year, the government has said, by approving increases ranging from 3 and 14 percent.

The ministry of mines, energy and trade stated that the price of cooking gas cylinders will increase by 14 percent from 7.750 dinars ($2.42) to 8.800 dinars ($2.75), while the price of gasoline will augment by 3 percent from 2.330 dinars ($0.73) to 2.400 dinars ($0.75) per litre.

The increase in prices took effect from midnight on Sunday 18 September, according to the ministry.

The series of fuel price hikes began in early February this year, followed by an increase on the last day of the same month, followed by a third increase in April.

Since February, the increases approved by Najla Bouden's government since taking power are estimated at 305 millimes, while the price of diesel rose by 255 millimes, reported The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. One thousand millimes make one Tunisian dinar.

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The ministry explained the price hike: "This adjustment comes in the light of the continuous increase in fuel prices on the world market, due to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, and the disturbances in the energy markets linked to the reduction in supplies as well as the high cost of petroleum materials," in a press release, according to the Turkish Anadolu agency.

The increase in fuel comes 48 hours after the Tunisian government signed an agreement with the powerful UGTT union increasing the wages of government sector employees by 5 percent in instalments over the next three years.

The North African country also hopes to reach an agreement entailing a $3 billion loan with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by the end of October, reported Reuters.

The deal aims to bail out the country from its long-running economic crisis exacerbated by increased inflation, high public debt and unemployment, by facilitating the provision of foods and energy products, paying wages and debt service.

Tunisians have become progressively unable to afford essential goods such as bread and cooking oil, with grocery stores witnessing a shortage in goods as the country becomes increasingly unable to afford imported products.