Zera reduces fuel prices

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Harare, (New Ziana) – The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) on Monday reduced fuel prices in local currency in line with movements in the exchange rate.

Fuel prices are currently being reviewed on the fifth of every month, although the exchange rate is revised on a weekly basis.

Monday’s review saw the price of diesel coming down in local currency by $4.51 to $81.85 per litre as well as in United States dollar terms where a litre will now cost four cents less to $1.

Petrol on the other hand is down by 31 cents per litre to $97.62 but is up by two cents to $1.20 in USD terms.

“Operators may however sell at prices below the cap depending on their trading advantages,” said Zera.

While most operators have religiously followed the energy regulator’s set local currency prices, competition has resulted in US denominated prices falling below set thresholds with some selling at as low as $1.06 per litre for petrol and $1 for diesel before the latest prices changes.

Introduction of a more stable foreign exchange system through the auction system in June and the permission granted to some operators to sell fuel in both local and foreign currency benefitted the sector as well as the public with improved availability of the commodity.

The Zimbabwean dollar is currently trading at $81.44 to the greenback, down from the fixed rate of $25 which government abandoned in June.

Resultantly, long winding fuel queues that had characterised the nation for years have mostly disappeared with some operators even struggling to find buyers for the commodity.

Recently, video footage of a fuel attendant who was encouraging motorists to come and buy fuel using the local currency went viral to show the massive changes in fuel availability in the country.

Government scrapped subsidies on fuel last year, largely allowing the market to determine prices which however still have to be agreed to in consultation with the authorities
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