Kuwaitis queue up to fill their cars with fuel at a petrol station in Kuwait City on August 30, 2016. Image Credit: AFP

Manama: Kuwait on Thursday joins fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in raising fuel prices.

Following a decision approved by the cabinet on August 1 upon a recommendation from an economic committee, starting September 1 consumers will pay 85 fils per liter for Octane 91, up from 60 fils, 105 fils for Octane 95 instead of 65 fils and 165 fils for Ultra-Premium, up from 90 fils.

“The price increase will create a change in consumption of Octane-91 and Octane-95, as more consumers will tend to use the Octane-91,” Chief Executive Officer of Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) Mohammad Al Mutairi told Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) on Wednesday.

KNPC has already prepared its fueling stations for such changes and provided sufficient amount of fuel to cover the rising demands in the local market, he added.

Saudi Arabia raised fuel prices on December 28, Bahrain on January 11, Qatar and Oman on January 15, and UAE on May 29.

The new pricing is close to international rates, the official said, noting that Octane-91 and Octane-95 were subsidised by the state.

The pricing decision was made to rationalise subsidies and improve the country’s budget deficit, the news agency said.

Overall show that after the raise, fuel prices in Kuwait will still remain the lowest among the Gulf States.

Kuwait’s cabinet had tasked a special commission to re-examine the state subsidies and the fuel prices every three months and bring it in harmony with the global rates.

Prime Minister Shaikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Hamad Al Sabah had said that the decision was an “extreme necessity” for Kuwait to follow up with the economic changes in the world.

Al Mutairi said that Al Ahmadi and Al Shuaiba refineries produce about 1.84 million litres of Octane-91. They also produce 9.39 million litres of Octane-95 and 270,000 litres of Ultra 98, bringing the total daily production of gasoline to 11.5 million litres.

“The daily consumption of all three types is 1,833 million litres of Octane-91, about 9,135 liters of Octane-95 and 267,000 liters of Ultra 98, with a total of 11,235 million liters of average daily consumption,” he said.

The growth of gasoline consumption in the past five years in Kuwait is about four per cent, he added.

In 2011, consumption rates were recorded at over 3,531 billion litres, about 3,682 billion litres in 2012, 3,810 billion litres in 2013, 4,006 billion litres in 2014 and over 4,122 billion litres in 2015.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry said no raise in food items’ prices would be accepted on the claim of higher fuel costs.