Fuel price shocker

HARARE - Zimbabwe's petrol price, which currently stands at $1.38/litre for petrol, is the highest in the region contrary to claims by Energy and Power Development minister Joram Gumbo.

Gumbo claimed in an interview with a local daily this week that foreigners in transit are refuelling in Zimbabwe because the local petrol price is lower than that obtaining in most countries in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) region.

“Our price is quite lower than in other countries in the region so they fill up in Zimbabwe while in transit,” the Energy and Power Development minister was quoted as saying.

But according to a survey of Sadc countries (excluding Zambia) by Wheels 24, a section of News24.com, an English-language South African online news publication, the Zimbabwean petrol price is the highest in the region.

The survey by the online news publication reveals that the price of fuel in oil-producing Angola, where motorists pay $0,52/litre, is the lowest in the region.

Elsewhere in the Sadc region, motorists are paying $0,87 in Botswana and Lesotho; $0,92 in in Swaziland and $0,93 in Namibia.

Of all the countries surveyed, Zimbabwe, at $1,38/litre, has the highest petrol price followed by Mozambique where motorists pay $1,12/litre.

The third highest petrol price is in South Africa where the inland price is $1,04/litre while the coast price is a dollar.

Despite the high fuel prices, fuel shortages still persist.

Gumbo attributed the fuel shortages to scarcity of foreign currency.

He told State media that his ministry has asked the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to review its foreign currency allocation upwards.

“We have enough fuel stocks in the country but sometimes we do not have forex to pay for the fuel. We strike deals with oil companies to deliver a lot of fuel in the country in advance.

“However we can only access that fuel after paying for it and our forex shortages sometimes hinder us from getting your preferred supply. We cannot say there is no fuel because there’s no forex. The fuel is there but the suppliers want forex up front. Our allocation is around $20 million per week for fuel so we receive it from the Reserve Bank. So if we are not allocated that forex, we may delay in accessing fuel.

“We made a proposal to the Reserve Bank to increase our weekly forex allocation from $20 million to $35 million per week,” said the Energy minister.

According to Wheels 24, Zimbabwe is the only country in the region which has not enjoyed a petrol price decrease.

“All Sadc countries saw a fuel decrease between November 2018 and January 2019 except for Zimbabwe — drivers are still paying $1,38/litre for petrol since October last year,” said the publication, adding that another fuel price drop is expected this month.

The Automobile Association (AA) in South Africa has also predicted a price decrease this month. It said unaudited month-end fuel price data released by that country’s Central Energy Fund show a substantial drop across the board.

“Petrol is showing a reduction of around R1 a litre, with diesel down by R1.30 and illuminating paraffin dropping by R1,22.

“Should this decrease materialise it will amount to a more than R2 decrease in the fuel price since the beginning of December, bringing much-needed relief to consumers battered by considerable increases throughout the year.

“The main driver of these reductions has been sagging international petroleum prices, spurred on by the USA which is trending towards becoming a net exporter of oil. Should this ever come to pass, the power of the OPEC nations to influence petroleum prices would be reduced considerably, leading to increased oil price stability,” the South African AA says.


Comments (6)

Jorum Gumbo hands down the most inept minister since Joseph Made. Just useless.

Moe Syszlack - 6 January 2019

This is junk reporting!!! How come you don't mention the parallel market in your article? If we consider the parallel market the price of fuel is actually US$0.46. Which means the minister is probably correct. That the minister may be using the parallel market to price goods is another story.....

The Beautiful ones are not yet born - 7 January 2019

This is the team that ED hopes will turn this country to a middle-income state by 2030...ZIMASSET!

Sinyo - 7 January 2019

Most of the pple are using BOND notes and ecocash and swipe to buy fuel. when all this is converted to USD it will come to between $0.40-0.50 per litre. so fuel in Zim is actually cheaper. cheaper than water! the minister might be correct

Bloodwell Tarume - 7 January 2019

Fuel is cheaper than bottled water! 500ml of Bottled water sells for between 80c and $1.25 meaning 1 litre of the water is between $1.60 and $2.50 making it more expensive than Petrol. This anomaly arises because of the exchange rate of 1:1 between Bond and USD.

Mwalimu - 7 January 2019

the fuel retailers get their forex at 1:1 from rbz so the issue of the parallel exchange rate does not apply here the same goes for chemists who were ripping us off by demanding US$

its not cheap - 8 January 2019

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