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Ugandan economy could get Oil-Shocks due to external factors, recent BoU report claims!

Surprise, surprise the Bank of Uganda (BoU) has made a working paper on the possible consequences of the oil price, the oil exports and the oil imports on the Ugandan economy. This didn’t exceed my expectation of a report or paper, but said enough to clearly anticipate changes in the economy with the coming export. Even as the BoU called the domestic oil production in embryonic stages, which means the real impact will come when it is closer petroleum production the GDP and CPI feel more impact of the oil prices and the volumes exported from the Lake Albert Basin.

That the Ugandan State and the Republic of Uganda, should know that the fresh foreign exchange and currency into the economy, as the domestic parts of petroleum is not having big impact on the economy! Still, the export can change it as the oil prices and change the consumer price index for instance. Take a look!

One such shock that is a source of major concern and risks to monetary policy-making in Uganda is the oil shock. To our knowledge, the effects of oil shocks in Uganda, to date, have not yet been analyzed. The objective of this paper therefore, is to analyze the nature and importance of oil shocks to Uganda’s economy in a dynamic framework” (Nyanzi & Bwire, P: 4, 2017).

According to the Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (2012), oil provides about 10 percent of Uganda’s energy requirements – the rest is sourced from the small and underdeveloped and unreliable electricity sub-sector and the cheap biomass energy. The oil sector was also deregulated in 1994, under the broad structural reforms implemented by the Government of Uganda, which effectively eliminated oil prices subsidies. Uganda is endowed with commercially-viable oil reserves, but domestic oil production is in embryonic stages. Consequently, all of the oil-energy needs of the country are satisfied by imports” (Nyanzi & Bwire, P: 8, 2017).

The results of the variance decomposition in regard to oil shock are not entirely unexpected, given the structure of Uganda’s economy. Oil and its products constitute 8 percent of total intermediate consumption and 10 percent of energy requirements. In addition, oil is crucial to electricity supply in Uganda because hydro-electricity is unreliable and insufficient. This implies little or no substitutability of oil with hydro-electric energy in production in case of adverse oil shock, which could justify the long-run 20 percent variance in output due to oil shocks. Regarding consumer prices, the small percentage of variance in consumer prices due to oil shocks is justified by the small weight of oil in the CPI basket. Oil constitutes about 1 percent in the 2009/10 rebased CPI basket, of which 0.8 percent is oil for personal transportation and 0.2 percent a source of liquefied energy at home. These numbers are not surprising given that over 75 percent of the population live in rural areas and depend mainly on wood and charcoal as a source of energy, and that rates of car ownership are generally low. Moreover, the main source of short-run volatility in the Uganda CPI is weather-related factors affecting food prices. This leaves the bulk of fluctuations in the core consumer prices (Comprising over 80 percent) explained by demand” (Nyanzi & Bwire, P: 18, 2017).

Oil shocks are transmitted through the supply channel, as a shock that increases the international price of oil leads to opposite movements in real output and consumer prices in Uganda” (Nyanzi & Bwire, P: 19, 2017).

It is hard to say how it could impact and how the petroleum production and exports will change the economy, how the prices and the inflation, as the measure of how much the price of the crude-oil will be at the given time. That the government has secret agreements with oil companies and also agreements with other to build the crude-oil pipeline that goes to Tanzania. Therefore, the reaction in the economy is not yet known, but with the background and knowledge of the how it is now. Most likely a real output and change in consumer prices in Uganda.

That will be an oil-shock no-one can be prepared for. Unless the Government and Parliament created legislation and policies who might soften the change of the economy. Therefore, with this in mind, the National Resistance Movement, the State House and the President Museveni have work to do. That is if they consider the implication the petroleum production and exports will have on inflation, currency value and consumer prices index as well. This report should open some eyes into it, but it should not be surprising. Peace.

Reference:

Nyanzi, Sulaiman & Bwire, Thomas – ‘Working Paper No. 04/2017 – The Macroeconomic responses to Petro Shocks for Uganda’ (May, 2017)

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