Demand for fuel to normalise: Zera 

Source: Demand for fuel to normalise: Zera | The Herald January 22, 2020

Demand for fuel to normalise: Zera

Panashe Chikonyora

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) anticipates the demand of fuel to normalise as the week progresses following the approval of a fuel price review last Friday.

The high demand for fuel began in 2018 when shortages of the commodity resulted in a lot of time being spent in queues affecting economic productivity.

The latest price review follows the last increase around late last November.

The increase saw prices for both diesel and petrol going up from $17,90 and $17,44 to $19,55 to $18,28 per litre, a 9 and 5 percent increase respectively.

However, the review in the price of fuel over the last months has not seen any changes as motorists continue to spend more time in  queues, with some ending up buying expensive and diluted fuel from the black market.

This has not only led to the suffering of motorists but the public at large as transport costs have risen while their wages remain suppressed.

In an interview with The Herald Finance and Business Zera revealed that the fuel tariff review is due to an increase in Free on Board (FOB) and interbank exchange rate.

Zimbabwe is a net importer and any increase in FOB automatically results in an upward fuel price review.

“The demand of fuel is set to normalise as the week progresses.

“The spike in demand is due to resumption of operations by companies that had closed for the festive season,” said Zera.

Meanwhile, 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 are urged not to hoard as that creates artificial shortages,” it said.

The fuel crisis and other problems — insufficient electricity supplies characterised by prolonged power cuts, foreign currency and cash shortages are all suppressing the country’s economic development as business operations are being disrupted.