The government said in a statement that 2019 “will be fraught with challenges due to increasing protectionist tendencies in the international economy and rising oil prices.”
Reuters reported on Friday that the North African country is the “largest energy importer” in the region with MAD 70 billion of imports in 2017.
Morocco’s government spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi said following the weekly Government Council that the 2018’s budget “was based on an estimate of $60 dollars per barrel while the average price on the international market rose to $73.”
The Governor of Central Bank Abdellatif Jouhari also expressed concerns about rising oil prices, emphasizing that this increase may have an “immediate impact” on Morocco’s economy.
The government has been under heavy pressure with millions of Moroccans expressing their anger about the increase in fuel prices and the high prices of primary goods.
Last April, millions of Moroccans launched a boycott campaign to targeting dairy products, bottled water and a major fuel company.
Like the government, Morocco’s High Commissioner for Planning (HCP) attributed the increase of fuel prices in Morocco to the increase in prices on the international market.
In a statement published in June, HCP said that fuel prices continued to rise, reaching MAD 10 per liter at the end of May 2018, compared to MAD 7 at the beginning of 2017.
On June 8, El Khalfi acknowledged the pressure resulting from the rising fuel prices, emphasizing that the government “is aware of the problem of hydrocarbon prices and the need to find practical solutions to this issue.”