Russian diesel stirs controversy in Morocco
Three opposition parties called for the creation of a fact-finding mission to look into imports of Russian diesel in Morocco with a focus on prices in fuel stations.
Due to Western sanctions, Russian diesel is the cheapest on the market. But, some Moroccan consumers deplore that prices in fuel stations remain high.
Opposition parties, PPS, MP and PJD say the fact-finding mission would investigate import prices and the profits made by diesel distributors in the country.
The Wall Street Journal and Reuters reported a few weeks ago that Russia was ramping up diesel exports to north African countries, including Morocco.
According to these reports, Morocco had imported 2 million barrels in January this year and 3.1 million barrels in February.
Morocco’s largest fuel importer and distributor Afriquia denied it has imported any Russian diesel, although it said it was seeking means to do so to help reduce prices for end consumers at home.
Its director general Said El Baghdadi told le360 that the company could not import Russian diesel due to Western sanctions which set obstacles to payments, adding that only multinationals that have banking services outside Europe could purchase from Russia.
He said the company, an offshoot of Akwa group, was importing from the Mediterranean and Saudi Arabia in view of logistical advantages.
Morocco had imported 9% of its diesel needs from Russia in 2022, which helps explain the high level of prices in the country compared to the pre-Ukrainian war period, according to finance ministry data.