Egypt in mid-2019 announced the imminent end of subsidies for domestic sales of oil products. Not only was it hiking prices for retail sales of gasoline and diesel by an average of 20% from the start of the 2019-20 financial year on 1 July 2019, but henceforth prices would be adjusted at the end of each quarter according to a supposedly automatic pricing mechanism (MEES, 12 July 2019).

It didn’t work out like that. This week saw the third straight quarterly non-adjustment. A 6 January petroleum ministry announcement confirmed that “The Automatic Pricing Committee for Petroleum Products concerned with reviewing and determining the selling prices of [gasoline and diesel] on a quarterly basis” decided to keep prices at the level they have been since April 2020 “in order to preserve price stability in the local market in light of the current circumstances of the Corona pandemic.” (CONTINUED - 698 WORDS)