Jordan’s pricing committee for petroleum products has announced limited price increases effective 1 February. The committee adjusts prices monthly to reflect price changes in world oil markets. The price of unleaded 90 and 95 octane gasoline rose by 2.6% and 2.1% respectively to JD0.800 ($1.13)/liter and JD0.990 ($1.40)/liter, while that of diesel and kerosene goes up by 3% to JD0.685 ($0.97)/liter (see table). The price of cooking gas (LPG) for household use is unchanged at the subsidized level of JD10 ($14.1)/per cylinder.

The government lifted fuel subsidies on most products last November after they became an unsustainable burden on the budget. Prime Minister ‘Abd Allah al-Nusur said at the time “if the move was delayed we would have faced a catastrophe and insolvency,” warning that the budget deficit in 2012 would rise to $5bn. With limited imports of Egyptian gas in 2012, the government had to shift to the import of expensive oil products, which further raised the deficit. The subsidies for electricity and petroleum in 2012 stood at JD1.2bn ($1.692bn) and JD800mn ($1.128bn) respectively, according to Jordanian Minister of Industry and Trade Hatim al-Halawani. (CONTINUED - 496 WORDS)