Turkey’s state-run pipeline company BOTAŞ said late Monday it raised natural gas prices for electricity production, a move that followed major hikes in January.
The prices for electricity production have been increased by 14.1% as of February, BOTAŞ said, while gas prices for industrial use and consumer gas prices remained unchanged.
Energy prices have risen sharply in Turkey, driven by global increases and a decline in the value of the Turkish lira against the United States dollar last year.
Natural gas prices jumped 25% for residential use and 50% for industrial use in January. The monthly price rise was 15% for power generators.
Electricity prices were increased as much as 125% for high-demand commercial users last month and by around 50% for lower-demand households.
The steep price hikes are estimated to have added to Turkey’s inflation pressure in January. The Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) is due to release January inflation data on Thursday, and surveys see it reaching around 47%, which would mark the highest reading in nearly 20 years.
The annual consumer price index (CPI) surged to a 19-year high of 36.1% in December, driven by last year’s slide in the lira and rising global commodity prices. This month, the lira has settled into a tight range of around 13.5 against the U.S. dollar, after the government took several steps to boost public confidence and official reserves.
The country's central bank sees inflation approaching 50% in January and peaking around 55% in May before dropping sharply in the third quarter and ending the year at 23.2%, according to its first quarterly inflation report unveiled last week.
The bank ramped up its year-end annual inflation forecast to 23.2% from a previous 11.8%. It forecast 8.2% inflation for the end of 2023 and a return to its official target of 5% a year later.
Annual retail prices in Turkey’s business capital, Istanbul, rose around 50.91% in January compared with 34% in December, according to data published by the city’s chamber of commerce on Tuesday, marking the highest reading since 2002.
Istanbul retail prices climbed 13.78% in January from 9.65% in December, the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Monday the country will have to carry the burden of inflation for some time following the recent volatility in the national currency.