Fuel prices go down

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s fuel prices have gone down by an average of $0,08 after surging at least $0,10 following the hike of excise duty on the commodity.

Petrol’s price, which had increased to as much as $1,60 per litre, has gone down to an average of $1,48 while diesel has eased to $1,34 per litre around $1,42.

A survey of most filling stations in Harare’s central business district by businessdaily indicates that fuel prices had been going down in the past week.

In March, Finance minister Tendai Biti hiked excise duty on diesel from $0,20 to $0,25 per litre while petrol’s was increased to $0,30 from $0,25 cents per litre with effect from March 9.

Takunda Mugaga, an independent economist, said; “Fuel prices will remain on the average price in the medium to long-term and will only be affected by external shocks. The market experienced short term shocks on the pricing mechanism which have now been smothered by a stable multi-currency regime.”

Zimbabwe imports most of its fuel, mainly from South Africa.

Last month, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority approved an E85 blend which contains 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent unleaded petrol.

Experts say the blended petrol — suitable for flexible vehicles — would bring down local fuel prices and also help the country reduce its import bill. - Business Writer

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