Local markets have seen a 100 per cent rise in the price of engine oil. Karim Sami, member of the Petroleum Products Division in the Egyptian Chamber of Commerce, said that the price of a package of oil weighing four kilos has gone up from 82 to 140 pounds, while one weighing 20 kilos has risen from 160 to 300 pounds.
Engine oil companies reportedly decided to raise the price of their products just days before a decision was made by the government to raise the price of 95 premium oil at Egyptian gas stations. Sami added that the combination of both these decisions will inevitably increase the burden on Egyptian drivers.
Muhammad Khamis, member of the Petroleum Products Division in the Egyptian Chamber of Commerce, said that many Egyptians have begun purchasing their oil from wholesalers whose prices are 20 per cent that of local vendors.
Khamis claimed that this latest phenomenon will have long-lasting negative effects on many Egyptian petrol stations which rely on the sale of engine oil in order to balance their profit margins. This has been compounded by the fact that many companies that produce engine oil have already been forced to raise their prices, due to the rising price of natural resources used in the production process.
Khalid Ezzat, owner of a petrol station in Cairo, said that the recent rise in price of engine oils is the result of oil companies taking advantage of the current lack of regulation in the Egyptian oil industry. He pointed to the fact that prices first rose by 15 per cent in the beginning of the year and have steadily increased since then every two months. Oil companies say the high oil prices are the result of rising costs in production, a claim Ezzat rejects.
Muhammad Hanafi, owner of a local gas station, called for the Ministry of Petroleum to set price ceilings on oil companies. He pointed to the fact that local oil have become more expensive than their imported counterparts, a testament to the extent of which oil companies have been manipulating the market.