Fuel prices went up marginally on Sunday, reversing last week’s rare decline which motorists had cheered.
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) said the price of petrol is now ZWL$9.95 per litre, up nine cents from last week, while that for diesel was ZWL$10.42, a jump of 17 cents.
“The changes in the fuel prices are due to the FOB (Free on Board) price movements and the revised duty regime applicable from Monday, 9 September 2019,” Zera said.
It added: “Operators may however, sell at prices below the cap depending on their trading advantages.”
FOB refers to costs involved in shipping the product.
In the week beginning August 26, 2019, the price for both petrol and diesel breached the ZWL$10 per litre mark before coming down the following week.
While the fuel situation had largely improved in the past three weeks, last week saw a resurgence of long queues indicating depressed availability.
Government has battled to normalise the fuel situation in the country for months on end, despite recent moves to stop subsidising the price and to some extent deregulating imports by allowing other big firms to import the commodity.
While previously, pricing was cited as one factor that led to shortages, Zera has said the price of the commodity would be reviewed on a weekly basis to ensure it does not lag behind.
Pricing mismatches, when compared with the region, were blamed for the shortages as the country’s fuel was the cheapest, driving arbitrage opportunities, including diversion to the black market and illegal export to neighbouring countries.