Fuel traders start slashing prices
Golden Sibanda and Tinashe Nhari—
FUEL traders have started slashing prices following Government’s directive to reduce prices in line with falling global oil prices. However, indications are that some traders may not cut prices to levels set by Government. Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge last week issued a two-week ultimatum, effective December 31 2014, instructing fuel traders to reduce the cost of fuel.
Minister Undenge said the retail price of petrol should come down to a maximum of ,32 per litre and diesel to $ 1,20 starting today and threatened unspecified action if dealers do not comply.
A snap survey yesterday showed that while fuel dealers had started slashing prices, they had not reduced them to the thresholds prescribed by Minister Undenge on Friday last week.
Total Zimbabwe commercial director Mr Dominic Dhanah said while they would want to comply with the Government’s directive, the prices would enable local dealers to realise decent profits.
“We are going to hold a meeting today (yesterday) with the Minister of Energy to discuss the reasons why local fuel traders have not reduced prices to the one set by the Government,” he said.
Sakunda Energy reduced the price of petrol from $ 1,57 per litre to $ 1,33 and diesel had come down from $ 1,47 per litre to ,44, far short of the maximum allowable price of ,32 per litre.
Total Zimbabwe cut its price of diesel from ,40 per litre to $ 1,38 and petrol from $ 1,52 per litre to $ 1,49 while Floyd Enterprises had prices pegged at $ 1,36/l for diesel and $ 1,48 for petrol.
Zuva cut diesel prices from ,36/litre to ,29 and from ,50/litre to ,41 for petrol and it remains to be seen whether the retailers are going to reduce the prices to the required limits.
Local service stations workers yesterday said that prices had been reduced to finish up old stock prices and may be reduced further as the day progresses in line with the ministry’s directive.
While global oil prices had come down almost 50 percent between June and December 2014, traders had not cut prices as has happened in other countries, including Zimbabwe’s neighbours.