Lahcen Daoudi, The Minister in charge of public affairs and governance, announced yesterday that fuel would go down this weekend by at least MAD 0.30 per liter of gasoline and MAD 0.40 per liter of diesel.
In a statement to Moroccan media, the minister stressed people are supposed to “punish” the companies which will not cut fuel price on Saturday.
Following the minister’s statement, Afriquia, one of the leading fuel companies in Morocco, decided, in a big move, to reduce fuel price by almost half a dirham per liter.
This is the fourth time in a month that the company reduces fuel prices, reaching a reduction value of MAD 1.5 per liter of gasoline and MAD 1.7 per liter of diesel.
Afriquia said it will cut fuel prices this weekend by MAD 0.49 per liter of diesel and MAD 0.39 per liter of gasoline.
Afriquia was one of the three major companies to be hit by the five-month long boycott campaign in which many Moroccans spoke out against rising commodity prices.
Daoudi’s Friday announcement comes two days after his ministry decided to implement fuel price cap regulations as a number of companies refused to reduce fuel prices following the drop in oil prices in the international market.
The decision is pending the approval of the Competition Council which is examining the implementation of fuel price cap.
The price cap can last for a period of 6 months according to the law, Daoudi noted on Sunday in a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party in El Kelaa des Sraghna, in central Morocco.
“After the liberalization of hydrocarbon prices in 2015, some companies have been earning MAD 2.13 per liter,” the minister regretted.
He said oil Moroccan companies’ profit margins exceed the threshold set by the state, which is supposed to be MAD 0.70 per liter of diesel and MAD 0.60 per liter of gasoline.
New foreign companies will soon open gas stations in Morocco as part of the country’s strategy to increase competition among fuel companies.
One of the investing companies is Spain’s Cepsa which signed a partnership with Morocco’s Derhem Holding this month to expand its oil business in the North African country by building 100 service stations in 5 years.