Stears’ Energy Market Monitor shows 46% decline in Nigerian petrol consumption post-subsidy removal

Nov 20, 2023|Noelle Okwedy

Stears’ Energy Market Monitor rigorously analyses a spectrum of energy commodities—from petrol to jet fuel—in Nigeria, offering a comprehensive view of market trends and consumption patterns. The scope of this analysis is set to widen, encompassing additional African markets by Q1 2024, reflecting our commitment to providing broader, in-depth market insights.

The global energy market is dynamic and ever-changing, even more so in the past year. 

Notably, the tripling of diesel prices in 2022, a consequence of geopolitical tensions, and the evolving petrol market in 2023 amid fiscal challenges in African economies exemplify the complex interplay of global events and local policy decisions. 

The nuanced data we provide, from state-level trends to foreign exchange impacts, is a critical tool for understanding broader economic currents and industry-specific nuances, assisting in strategies ranging from operational planning to investment decisions. 

Execute data-backed decision-making

Our monitor doesn’t just aggregate data; it dissects it, offering granular insights that reveal the undercurrents of market trends. For instance, following President Tinubu’s policies on the removal of petrol subsidies and foreign exchange market liberalisation, we observed a staggering 129% average increase in petrol prices across Nigeria.  

However, a closer look at state-level data reveals an even more dramatic surge in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, with prices soaring by 176% between May and June 2023. 




Our robust data solution allows professionals to seamlessly switch between various temporal views, providing an in-depth analysis of energy commodity prices extending beyond a year. 

With this tool, users can effortlessly navigate through historical data, examining data over the past 12 months and reaching back three years to a decade. This temporal flexibility ensures a comprehensive understanding of price trends, enabling professionals to identify long-term patterns, seasonal fluctuations, and potential influencing factors. 

Whether investigating the impact of geopolitical events or assessing market dynamics over an extended period, the versatility of this data solution equips professionals with the insights needed to make informed decisions and strategise effectively in the volatile energy market.

This level of detail is crucial for businesses making strategic decisions like choosing locations for new branches to figure out where operational and consumer costs can be optimised.  

Assess the implications of policy adjustments on consumer dynamics

Moving beyond price tracking, users of our monitor can also delve into the consequences of policy changes on consumer dynamics. 

In Nigeria, where fuel is second only to food in terms of consumer expenditure, our monitor has chronicled the adaptation of consumers to escalating fuel costs. With petrol prices soaring, our data provides a clear picture of how consumer spending patterns shift in response to these economic pressures.

For example, our data shows a significant reduction in petrol imports in 2023, attributable to a crackdown on smuggling and reduced local consumption due to higher prices. We expect prices to continue to rise until the FX rates decline, but consumption volumes will grow marginally as we approach the festive season.




Our sophisticated data solution enables professionals to filter and analyse consumption patterns for specific commodities, offering a nuanced understanding of market dynamics. Users can focus on individual commodities, scrutinising how consumption has evolved, identifying trends, and assessing the impact of various factors on demand. 

This data solution also offers flexibility, allowing for a holistic view enabling professionals to compare consumption across all commodities simultaneously. As such, users can discern interdependencies and correlations. 

The Energy market monitor facilitates honing in on the intricacies of a particular commodity or conducting a comparative analysis across the entire spectrum, providing valuable insights crucial for adapting to changing market conditions and optimising resource allocation.

Maintain a leading edge in policy insight

The petrol subsidy removal was a landmark decision by the Tinubu administration in its attempt to portray a more market-oriented economic landscape, marking a shift from the inefficient subsidy regime. 

However, staying the course with policy redirection is vital. Our monitor gives further insights critical to understanding the government's stance on deregulation and predicting future policy moves.

Global crude oil prices and the exchange rate mostly determine petrol prices in Nigeria. While oil prices have declined to a four-month low, our Africa FX Monitor shows that the naira has lost 35% of its value YTD at the parallel market. Still, Nigerian petrol prices have remained relatively fixed since July, indicating a cog in the deregulation wheel.




The chart above shows Nigeria’s petrol landing cost trajectory since the subsidy removal. Our monitor also offers tabular views and data downloads for specific data sets, allowing users access for their own analysis and intelligence gathering.

Global petrol prices have declined, but the parallel market rate has hovered around ₦1,200 to the dollar. Nigerian fuel marketers access dollars at the parallel market, and our data shows that petrol prices should have increased in August 2023. However, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has, once again, become the sole importer of petrol to keep prices stable. 

While the chart above shows the Lagos pump price based on an average of fuel stations across the state, the NNPC’s fuelling stations sell at ₦568/litre, below the landing cost at the official FX rate from August to September 2023.

This data gives us a sense of the government’s policy regarding downstream deregulation and what moves they are likely to make. 

Our outlook is that until the CBN fixes the country’s FX supply issue, which could result in the naira’s appreciation at the parallel market, the NNPC will remain the sole importer of petrol to Nigeria to keep prices from rising. 

With its inherent dynamism and volatility, the energy market demands a data-driven approach for those seeking to stay ahead. Stears’ Energy Market Monitor equips professionals with granular data across a spectrum of commodities, which helps to navigate this complex landscape with confidence and foresight.

Unlock the full potential of the Stears Energy Market Monitor today. Existing corporate subscribers can access in-depth data and insights immediately. If you don’t yet have a license, discover how our monitor can transform your strategy—request a personalised demo from a member of our team.