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Zimbabwe fuel most expensive in Sadc

by Staff reporter
12 Oct 2023 at 06:41hrs | Views
According to the latest report by the social justice watchdog, Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd), fuel prices in Zimbabwe are among the highest in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) due to market monopoly.

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) recently increased diesel prices to US$1.79 per liter from US$1.76 per liter while maintaining the price of the petrol blend (E20) at US$1.65 per liter. However, Zimbabwe's fuel prices are much higher than the Sadc regional average.

Several factors contribute to this situation, including a monopoly in the ethanol market, high fuel taxes and levies, limited market competition, insufficient fuel infrastructure, and vested interests. The fuel sector in Zimbabwe is controlled by a small group with ties to the ruling Zanu-PF elite.

The report also mentions that fuel imports are expected to rise due to global supply uncertainties related to events in the Middle East/Israel, ongoing production curbs by OPEC+, and an improvement in global economic sentiment.

Statistics from the Zimbabwe Statistical Agency indicate that in August 2023, the country imported diesel worth US$85.7 million, a 12.3% increase from the US$76.3 million imported in July 2023. In year-to-date (YTD) terms, diesel imports increased by 17.1% in August 2023.

Additionally, the report noted that the value of Zimbabwe's fuel imports is increasing due to rising global crude oil prices, which are driven by production cuts led by Saudi Arabia, the world's top crude oil producer and exporter. Increased fuel demand in Zimbabwe is also linked to recurring electricity shortages.

Source - newsday
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