HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s energy regulator on Tuesday announced that prices of diesel and petrol had been increased by up to 47% effective immediately, a day after the central bank said oil firms would now buy dollars to import fuel on the interbank market.
The latest price increase had been expected and follows an earlier 150% hike in January, which sparked violent street protests and led to the death of a dozen people after a security crackdown.
The price of petrol has increased to RTGS$4.97, up from RTGS$3.36. A litre of diesel will cost RTGS$4.89, up from RTGS$3.22.
RTGS$ stands for real-time gross settlement dollar, a new currency that Zimbabwe introduced in February. It does not trade outside of the county.
According to Reserve bank of Zimbabwe one real-time gross settlement dollar buys 4.11 rand.
In South African terms, a litre of petrol will now cost R20.42 and a litre of diesel R20.09, according to the official RTGS$/rand exchange rate as of Tuesday at noon.
The price hikes come after the government announced that fuel dealers will now have to buy fuel at the official floating exchange rate. Previously, they could buy fuel at a discounted rate to the US dollar.
” […] the 1:1 foreign exchange rate that was being used by Oil Marketing Companies for the procurement of fuel will be discountinued with immediate effect,” said the central bank in a statement on Monday.
This price hikes are likely to cause an increase in transport fares and the price of goods. In order to try and dampen the effect and ease the impact of high inflation, Zimbabwe earlier announcedthat it would subsidise public transport and cut fuel duties.
The latest April inflation figures showed year on year inflation at 75.8%.