Morocco's cost of oil imports almost double

May 05, 2005 02:00 AM

Morocco's crude oil imports stood at MAD 4 bn in the first quarter of 2005 (nearly $ 533 mm) compared to MAD 2.68 mm recorded during the same period in 2004, i.e. up 51 %.
The "Office des Changes," the Moroccan authority in charge of supervising exchange rates and flows indicates that this variation is due to the rise of oil prices in the world market. Crude oil prices flared up 30.9 % to stood at MAD 2,672 per ton compared to MAD 2,041 in 2004.

Crude oil prices skyrocketed 44.1 % in March 2005 to stood at MAD 2,976 per ton compared to MAD 2,065 in March 2004, while crude oil imports jumped by 56.8 % to reach MAD 1.82 bn.
"Office des Changes" points out that Morocco's volume of crude oil imports increased by 15.4 % in the first quarter of 2005 to stood at 1.51 mm tons compared to 1.31 mm tons during the same period of 2004.

Energy products imports flared up 34.9 % in the first quarter of 2004 to reach MAD 7 bn compared to MAD 5.14 bn in the same period of 2004. The share of energy products in the total imports augmented by 3.3 % to reach 17.2 % at the end of March compared to 13.9 % at the same period in 2004.
In order to stave off the undesirable impact of the oil price fluctuations on the local market Morocco has adopted a policy consisting in the diversification of the supply sources. The Moroccan government has earmarked about MAD 3.5 bn (1 USD = 8.5 MAD) for investments in the field of combustibles and butane gas, in the coming three years.

The government has concluded, on December 20, 2004, a MAD 6 bn investment agreement with the state-owned oil company SAMIR. The agreement is meant to modernize the Mohammedia-based refinery (70 km south of Rabat) in addition to other future refinery projects in Jorf Lasfar (south of Rabat) because of the suitability of this site in terms of supply security conditions.
Due to the rise of oil prices, the Moroccan government resorted, in August 2004, to the increase of combustible prices. This increase attained MAD 0.2/litre for diesel and MAD 0.3/litre for gas.

Source: Arabic News
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