Ghana Delays Locking In Oil to Review Cedi Impact on Prices

(Bloomberg) -- Ghana is postponing plans to protect itself from higher oil prices as the country reviews how its currency is affecting what consumers pay at the pump.

Foreign exchange movements are probably having a bigger impact on volatile fuel costs than changes in the international price of crude, Deputy Minister of Finance Charles Adu Boahen said Wednesday in an interview in the capital, Accra. The country will study the matter and consider measures to negate currency fluctuations, said Boahen.

“It won’t make sense to hedge when international prices don’t pose problems,” he said.

Ghana became an oil producer in 2010, when Tullow Plc started the Jubilee field, but it still needs to import refined products. While higher prices will bolster the nation’s revenue, they stand to distort macroeconomic targets such as inflation, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said in February.

The cedi weakened 0.9 percent to 4.8378 against the dollar at Thursday’s close in Accra, extending losses to 7 percent for the year in which it traded in a range of 4.3538 to 4.8975 against the U.S. currency. The price of crude has risen 16 percent in 2018.

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