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Zimbabwe Orders Traders to Reduce Fuel Prices

  • Thomas Chiripasi

The government has ordered fuel traders to reduce the price of fuel citing a drop of oil prices on the international market.

Energy and Power Development Minister, Samuel Undenge, issued the directive Friday, saying oil prices have dropped by almost 50 percent on the world market.

Since June last year, crude oil prices on the international market have fallen from $118.18 a barrel to about $50 by close of business on Friday.

Undenge told a news conference in Harare on Friday that all fuel traders should reduce fuel prices by January 14th, adding that the government would take stern measures against dealers who would have defied the directive.

The energy minister also said a hike in fuel prices should be effected at least two weeks after the announcement of an increase in oil prices on the international market.

Some fuel dealers told Studio 7 they have not reduced the price of petrol and diesel because they are still selling carry-over stocks.

But Undenge noted that it only requires fuel traders a maximum of two weeks to finish selling their stock.

Fuel dealers are currently selling diesel and petrol at an average price of $1.40 and $1.50 per litre.

Responding to a question on why blended fuel remained expensive, Undenge said the price reflects the cost of transporting ethanol fuel from the blending point to service stations.

Some economists say they expect prices of many commodities to go down following the reduction of fuel prices.

Esau Mupfumi of the Long Distance Transport Associtian welcomed the minister’s directive.

“We want to thank theminister for the directive and urge all the fuel operators to implement it by reducing the price of fuel from what they buy as they put a reasonable markup for them to remain viable in business.”

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