Zambia’s retail fuel prices fell early January due to subdued oil prices, Reuters reported. The cut came after President Edgar Lungu said he expected to do so even as Brent crude climbed 13% in December 2016.
According to Zambia’s Energy Regulation Board, gasoline prices would fall by 8.8%, while diesel would drop 6%, informed Bloomberg.
The energy regulator said the price cut was calculated following an analysis of the cost of fuel imports since September. It has a responsibility to ensure the charges are cost-reflective, as Zambia imports all of its petroleum products. The local currency, Kwacha, has depreciated 3.7% against the dollar since the start of September 2016 to 9.915, while Brent crude has advanced 24% over the same period, increasing the cost of imported fuel.
In October 2016, Zambia hiked the retail price of gasoline by nearly 39%, while the price of diesel was increased by 33% in a bid to remove the subsidies that the International Monetary Fund had criticized, as it prepares to start talks for an aid package with the Washington-based lender in February.