Zimbabwe’s Energy Minister Joram Gumbo today said fuel was selling for $4 to $5 a litre on the black market and he believed that some motorists were conniving with fuel attendants at service stations to hoard fuel for the black market.
Fuel is priced at less than $1.50 which now translates to less than 50 US cents on the black market.
Gumbo told the Sunday Mail that the current fuel shortages were largely because of the increase if consumption.
“The demand trends I have witnessed are that diesel sales have increased from a daily average consumption of 1.9-million litres in April to 4.5-million litres by end of October 2018, which means diesel sales and demand has more than doubled during the seven-month period,” he said.
“And during that period, petrol sales have increased from a daily average consumption of 1.1-million litres in April to 3-million litres by end of October, which means petrol consumption has more than trebled in seven months.
“The increased fuel demand has strained the country’s foreign currency reserves and resulted in the challenges that we are facing in the fuel supply chain.”
Some service stations have started selling fuel in hard currency and it is going for between $1.50 and $1.10 which makes it cheaper than the price on the black market.
There have been calls to have some service stations being allowed to sell fuel in hard currency to ease the fuel shortage but the government is worried about the repercussions on its policy that the US dollar and the bond note are at par.
But it has already started charging duty on imported goods like cars in foreign currency.