Yesterday the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority announced the fuel prices starting December 8 2022. Most businesses will probably be relieved to learn that diesel, a key input and cost driver for businesses was reduced from U$1.70 set on 30 November to US$166 per litre. Petrol prices were however increased from US$1.54 per litre set on 30 November to US$1.55 per litre starting 8 December.

The new price prices for Diesel and Petrol in USD and ZWL are now as follows:

  • Diesel will now sell for US$1.66 or $1 095.55 ZWL
  • Petrol will now sell for US$1.55 or $1 023.77 ZWL

NB: It’s not clear why ZERA continues to give us ZWL prices because for the past two years or so years it has been impossible to find any service station that sells fuel in the local currency. Thanks to Statutory Instrument 65 of 2020, service stations, unlike most other businesses, are allowed to sell fuel exclusively in foreign currency.

The slight fall in price will please businesses

While it may not seem like it is a big deal, this is the lowest price that ZERA has set for diesel since the end of March when the price of diesel was pegged at US$1.60 per litre. Ever since then diesel has been sold at prices higher than US$1.70 per litre. At some point in June and July, it looked like the prices were ready to breach the US$1.90 mark as diesel attained its highest price this year of US$1.88 per litre.

As already said, diesel is a key ingredient in a lot of business activities including transportation of goods and raw materials, farming operations and increasingly powering generators to plug the giant chasm left by ZESA’s ruthless load-shedding exercises that are now lasting as long as 20 hours. A fall in the price of diesel, even one as small as 4 cents will go a long way in decreasing costs for businesses that are facing a dark Christmas in more ways than one thanks to an underperforming economy and blackouts.