By Yeukai Tazira
GOVERNMENT and oil firms have agreed on a reduced diesel price of $17,28 per litre following a decline in oil prices on the international market.
Previously, diesel cost $19,55 per litre, making it more expensive than petrol which was selling for $18,28 per litre.
The development comes after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) provided funds to enable oil companies to access fuel stocks that were already in the country, but needed payment to be released.
In a statement this week, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) confirmed the development and said the new prices were in response to the decrease of diesel price on the international market.
“In view of the significant decrease of the diesel price on the international market, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) met the oil marketing companies (OMCS) on February 29, 2020, and deliberated on the impact of the decrease on the local market.
“The OMCs made a commitment to continue supplying diesel to consumers at the new price,” read part of the statement.
The fuel and energy regulator said it expects the supply of the commodity to improve.
Expectations are that fuel supplies will continue to improve and motorists and other consumers were urged not to hoard as that creates artificial shortages.
“Zimbabwe is a net fuel importer, hence any movement on the global market has an effect on the local price.
“ZERA is working closely with OMCs to ensure that the country has adequate supply.
“Surveillance on possible hoarding of fuel is being carried. The public is being urged to continue using fuel efficiently,” ZERA said.
The high demand for fuel began in 2018 when shortages of the commodity resulted in long and winding queues thereby affecting production.
The fuel crisis and other problems, including insufficient electricity supplies characterised by prolonged power cuts, foreign currency shortages, are all suppressing the country’s economic development as business operations are being disrupted. The Herald