UAE diesel prices slashed for March: Will grocery prices drop in time for Ramadan shopping?

Goods transported from one emirate to the other and from warehouses to supermarkets will cost less this month, ultimately benefiting customers


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Thu 2 Mar 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Mar 2023, 9:41 PM

Grocery prices in the UAE will drop this month after the government announced a seven per cent reduction in diesel prices for March. Even as petrol prices went up by 4 fils per litre, the UAE’s Fuel Price Committee slashed diesel prices by 24 fils. It will cost Dh3.14 per litre in March, compared to Dh3.38 the previous month.

Consumer and commodity prices are closely linked to the fuel rates globally as a drop in energy prices pushes shipping and transport charges lower, which usually translates into lower grocery and other consumer product prices at the retail level.

The reduction in diesel rates comes as residents prepare to shop for essentials ahead the holy month of Ramadan, which is likely to begin on March 23.

Dr Dhananjay Datar, chairman and managing director of Al Adil Trading Company, said diesel is mainly used in commercial vehicles so the reduction in the local diesel rate will result in a drop in logistics charges. “The commodity and food items prices will definitely come down as a result of a cut in diesel rate, thus benefiting the consumers, wholesalers and other players such as restaurants and catering companies,” he said.

“Goods transported from one emirate to the other and from warehouses to supermarkets in the UAE will cost lesser in March now as over 90 per cent of commercial vehicles run on diesel. So this will ultimately benefit the customers at the end.”

This means grocery essentials will cost much lesser for the holy month. Retailers usually host shopping promotions offering massive discounts ahead of Ramadan. A drop in diesel prices could translate into bigger savings for residents.

In addition to lower diesel prices, commodity prices in the UAE and worldwide have also come down due to a drop in shipping charges in the past few months as well as the supply of certain commodities from Ukraine. Shipping charges skyrocketed during the pandemic, pushing the inflation rates higher in the UAE and across all the major economies. But now food prices are coming down to a more stable as life returns to normalcy after the pandemic.

According to the latest data report released by Emirates NBD Research on Tuesday, inflation in Dubai fell 0.6 per cent in January 2023, bringing the annual inflation rate down to 4.6 per cent year-on-year from 5.2 per cent in December 2022.

Kamal Vachani, group director and partner at Al Maya Group, said the reduction in diesel rates will “definitely help the transport companies in reducing the cost and this will ultimately result in an overall reduction in general merchandise prices.”

He added that the UAE government always tries to keep the prices at the most affordable and competitive rates for consumers.


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