HARARE - Crisis-weary Zimbabweans finally have something to smile about following the recent decline in fuel prices.
A snap survey by the Daily News in the country’s major cities and towns such as Harare, Bulawayo, Masvingo, Mutare, Marondera, Kwekwe and Bindura revealed that petrol prices tumbled from an average of $1,50 per litre to an average of $1,46 per litre.
On the other hand, diesel prices have also declined from an average of $1,33 per litre to an average of $1,29 per litre.
This follows the drop in international oil prices from an average of $50 per barrel to an average of $38,85 per barrel yesterday. Fuel prices were ranging over $100 per barrel over a year ago.
“It’s an early Christmas present for us and we hope this new trend continues until the end of the year,” said a visibly-excited motorist Tinashe Magwenzi.
A number of motorists said the reduction in the fuel price should have a domino effect on the prices of other commodities.
Although other countries had reason to celebrate the drop in prices in the past 12 months, Zimbabwe was yet to reap anything out of the steady fall of crude oil prices internationally, with local fuel suppliers proffering insubstantial explanations on why they could not reduce the price.
Economist Christopher Mugaga said fuel prices are expected to decline further this year, driven mainly by oil prices, which have been declining sharply amid signs that growth in oil demand from China may soften in line with its economic slowdown.
“The recent Supreme Court Labour ruling has also seen thousands of workers losing their jobs and this will result in depressed demand for fuel as people will resort to using public transport due to lack of disposable income,” he said.
While the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) had not responded to questions sent to them by end of day yesterday concerning the reasons behind the recent fuel prices reduction, this publication is reliably informed that Greenfuel was meeting its contractual obligation in supplying ethanol.
Zimbabwe currently enforces mandatory blending of petroleum products, a move government claimed would bring down prices and reduce the country’s import bill.
The country is currently selling petrol blended with 15 percent ethanol content (E15).