Zim fuel prices in sharp rise
Harare, (New Ziana) – The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) increased fuel prices by 150 percent on Wednesday, a day after the local currency devalued by more than half after it was allowed to float freely.
Re-introduction of the foreign currency auction system on Tuesday saw the local unit trade at $57.36 to the United States dollar, from a fixed rate of $25.
The exchange rate movement immediately impacted fuel prices, forcing Zera to adjust these.
Zera said late Tuesday fuel sellers were now allowed to dually price the commodity, with the price of petrol, per litre, sharply rising to $71.62 from $28.96 while diesel now costs $62.77 from $24.93.
Alternatively, buyers can now pay for fuel using the greenback at US$1.28 and US$1.09 per litre for petrol and diesel respectively.
“Operators may however sell at prices below the cap depending on their trading advantages,” Zera said.
Previously, only selected registered service stations were allowed to sell fuel in foreign currency.
Fuel supply has over the past two years been scarce with the nation experiencing biting shortages blamed on unavailability of foreign currency for imports and at times poor pricing that saw the commodity largely being sold on the black market.
Long fuel queues are still the order of the day, with motorists spending days waiting for delivery of the product at service stations that sell the commodity in local currency.
But those with free funds however had it easy, as fuel sold in United States dollars was readily available.
The price review is expected to a have a double edged impact of improving availability of the product on the market but at the same time contribute to a hike in the price of goods and services.