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Coal, fuel prices surge, liquefied gas & firewood down

26 Oct 2022 - 16:07
26 Oct 2022 - 16:07

KABUL (Pajhwok): The prices of coal averagely increased by 39 percent and fuel by 32 percent while the rates of liquified gas decreased by 29 percent and firewood by eight percent compared to their prices last year.

Kabul residents use these items to heat their homes during winter but most people purchase coal and firewood.

A day earlier, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) tweeted that 79 percent of Afghanistan’s households will not have heating access this coming winter.

Coal prices surge 39pc

According to shopkeepers, in October last year, the price of 560 kilograms of good quality coal was 7,500 afghanis and low quality 6,000 afghanis, but now the price of good quality coal has surged to 9,000afs and low quality to 8,400afs.

But a Pajhwok report shows last year the price of good quality coal was 6,500afs.

Mohammad Khan Mangal, a coal seller, said: “Previously large coal stones would come, but currently most of them go to Pakistan and small ones remain here, and we buy them at a much higher price compared to other years.”

He said many people visited his shop but after knowing the price, they left because they could not afford to buy it.

On average, the prices of fuel surge

According to Pajhwok weekly economic reports, last year this season, the price of one liter of diesel was 63afs and petrol 72afs.

Samiullah, owner of the Khorshid fuel station, said currently the rate of one liter of diesel was 97afs and one liter of petrol 81afs.

He said the appreciation of the US dollar against the afghani, sanctions imposed on Afghanistan after the fall of the previous government last year and the increase in fuel prices at global markets all led to a dramatic surge in fuel prices. One liter of diesel accounted for 110 afghanis and petrol for 95afs but later the prices fell slightly.

After the regime change, one US dollar accounted for 79.70 afs. But after the new administration’s takeover, the dollar skyrocketed and was traded for 130afs on December 13, 2021. After some time, the afghani regained its value, with the greenback slumping to 102afs on January 31, 2021.

Today (Wednesday), one US dollar is exchanged for 87.60afs in Kabul.

Liquefied gas prices down by 29pc

Last year, the price of one kilogram of liquefied gas increased from 85afs to 95afs but currently it has reduced to 60afs.

Mohammad Sharif, a gas seller in Kolola Pushta area of Kabul, said the rate of gas decreased after an interim agreement reached with Russia. He hoped the gas rate would remain steady during winter.

Firewood, sawdust prices decrease by eight percent on average

Last year, the price of 560 kilograms of unpeeled oak was 6,800afs, peeled oak 8,000 afs and sawdust priced at 8,500afs.

But currently 560 kilograms of peeled oak cost 7,600afs and unpeeled 7,000 afs and sawdust 5,500afs.

Pajhwok reporter talked to shopkeepers about the prices of firewood items in Tang-i-Logar area of the 8th police district of Kabul.

Firewood seller Mohammad Ghafar said: “The prices somehow are appropriate this year compared to the past.”

According to him, firewood prices decreased due to people’s deteriorated economic situation and most people don’t purchase firewood or purchase a less amount.

Ali Mohammad, a resident of Kabul, said: “If you look at poverty, the prices are still high.”

He said the main problem was unemployment and if work opportunities were provided to the people, they would be able to buy food and fuel.

sa/ma

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