Natural-gas prices paid by Romanian households will fall by 2.5% on January 1 because of a stronger local currency and lower import prices, the country's gas-market regulator said.
„The elimination of tax on internally produced natural gas, the drop of about $12 per hundred cubic meters in import prices, the favorable lei/dollar exchange rate and new distribution tariffs” are prompting the drop, the regulator said today on its Web site. The lei has been the world's best-performing currency this year, making items in dollars cheaper for Romanians.
The lei has gained 20% against the dollar in 2006, fueled by investments from foreign companies as Romania prepares to join the European Union on January 1. The gas-price cut comes after the regulator said October 30 that the price would rise by as much as 8.5% as of November 11 because of higher rates being charged by domestic producers.
Romania's main gas distributors are Gaz de France's Distrigaz Sud and E.ON AG's Distrigaz Nord. Production from Romgaz SA and OMV AG's Petrom SA cover more than half of the country's natural-gas consumption. (Bloomberg)