KENYA'S energy regulatory body raised the price of petrol, diesel and kerosene on Saturday, and said the new prices would come into effect on Sunday, adding to pressures on inflation.
Fuel prices have a significant impact on the overall rate of price growth in east Africaâ€™s biggest economy as many people rely on kerosene for lighting and cooking as well as on diesel and super petrol for transport.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said the increase was due to the political unrest in north Africa and parts of the Middle East, which has sent international oil prices higher.
The ERC raised the price of super petrol in the capital Nairobi by 4.18 shillings ($0.048) to 115.35 shillings, and increased that of diesel in the capital by 2.58 shillings to 108.02 shillings per litre.
Kerosene in the capital rose by 3.88 shillings to 92.61 shillings per litre.
However, the ERC said international oil prices were decreasing, sending refined petroleum product prices lower, and any such changes would be passed on to consumers.
The surging costs of fuel, bread and flour have driven up other costs like transport and electricity, and sent the inflation rateinto double digits.
In annual terms, inflation rose for the sixth month in a row to 12.05% year-on-year in April from 9.19% in March, putting basic items out of reach for many Kenyans.
Kenyaâ€™s main union said on Wednesday it would call a strike in 21 days unless the government raised wages further to help workers cope with rising food and fuel prices.
Meanwhile, the Kenya shilling firmed against the dollar on Friday after the central bank stayed out of the market, but traders said it could weaken if the bank comes in to buy hard currency next week.
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has purchased hard currency three times this week, buying a total of 14 million euros, a move traders said was probably aimed at boosting the bankâ€™s foreign exchange reserves.
When the market closed, the shilling was quoted at 85.80/90 against the dollar, stronger than Thursdayâ€™s close at 86.15/25.
â€œOne thing that market players are pricing in is the possibility of CBK coming in again.
â€œThat is why you have notseen a massive correction,â€ said Duncan Kimani, a trader at Commercial Bank of Africa.
Kenya raises fuel prices