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UAE petrol prices for December fall as crude trades below $45

The government decided to deregulate fuel prices in July

The Ministry of Energy has announced new fuel prices for the month of December across all petrol stations in the UAE.

The prices for petrol have gone further down for the fourth consecutive month while diesel at AED1.83 fell only by four fils per litre compared to November.

With effect from December 1 per litre petrol prices will be AED1.61 for E-plus (Octane 91), AED 1.68 for Special (Octane 95) and AED1.79 for Super (Octane 98) while they are AED1.63, AED1.70 and AED1.81 respectively in the current month.

The government has been announcing fuel prices for each month after it decided in July to deregulate prices of petrol and diesel against average international levels. The decision came apparently after the International Monetary Fund said the UAE will post its first fiscal deficit since 2009 and estimated that the country spends $7 billion annually on petroleum subsidies, which kept prices lower than the international average.

The global benchmark Brent crude is now trading below $45 after plunging more than 50 per cent since last year.

Hit by the cheap oil, Bahrain is also planning to stop subsidies on fuel.

In September Saudi Arabian daily Al-Eqtisadiah quoted an unnamed official saying the oil ministers of member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council have looked into plans to unify fuel prices within the six-nation regional grouping.

Meanwhile, Qatar-based think tank the Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development earlier this month urged the countries in the region to “rethink generous subsidies” on fuel.

“The Gulf countries have to rethink the generous subsidies they have; they cannot afford them anymore and will have to look at alternatives,” said H.E. Al Attiyah, Qatar’s former Minister of Energy & Industry and Deputy Prime Minister.

“They have to reduce subsidies and prepare people to accept that change. Young, educated people will be instrumental to that change.”