Monday, 21 March 2022

FUEL PRICES CUT IN ZIM

The cut in fuel prices by 8 US cents a litre following Government tax cuts has been welcomed by businesses and motorists who have been feeling the pinch after prices rose swiftly following the big jumps in global crude oil prices.

The rapid rise in crude oil prices following global recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and then the switches in supply chains as a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict saw the retail prices in Zimbabwe rise to US$1,67 a litre for petrol and US$1,68 a litre for diesel.

The prices follow a formula that includes all costs, including the fuel duty, and maximum mark-ups for oil companies and service stations.

But following the intervention by Government, which promised to reduce the tax on each litre, a litre of petrol is now US$1,59 while diesel is now US$1,60.

In a statement on Sunday, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) encouraged operators to charge prices lower than the capped price depending on their trading advantages.

“Prices have been set in accordance with oil price patterns on the international market, which the authority is continuously monitoring,” said ZERA.

“The public and operators are advised that the blending ratio remains at E0 (that is no ethanol). Operators may sell the petroleum products below the prescribed prices depending on their trading advantages and should display prices in a prominent place as provided for by the fuel pricing regulations.

“Stakeholders are advised that the petroleum price released by ZERA can be verified on the official ZERA website, Facebook or Twitter handle.”

Motorists welcomed the new price announcement, adding that they hope the prices can remain stable.

Already Saudi Arabia, under pressure from major importing nations, has said it will pump more crude which global markets expect to stabilise crude oil prices, although at the new higher level.

While Zupco had maintained its fare structure, many in the grey and illegal public transport sector had been pushing up fares, quoting the price rises. The Zupco fleet is growing but is still not able to cope with the demand for public transport.

Ms Ruvimbo Makamadze, who is in the transport business, said the reduction of fuel prices definitely aids her operations.

“I am into transport and logistics and I was having a headache over the increase of fuel prices. It was affecting my operations but now I am relieved because the reduction of fuel prices means more business as some customers were no longer keen to hire my trucks due to cost adjustments. Herald

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