A renowned analyst day’s the Wednesday fuel price hike was inevitable amid global fuel surge due to the war in Ukraine.
The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) has announced an increase in fuel prices from K1,380 for a litre of petrol to K1,999 while diesel has jumped to K1,920 a litre from K1,470.
Likewise, paraffin prices have moved up to K1,236 from K956 in April this year.
Social commentator Humphrey Mvula said the fuel prices spike was expected because fuel prices on the international market have gone up drastically.
“It is painful but this is the reality. In the US, UK, European countries, Asia, Africa, fuel prices are going up and you don’t expect fuel prices in Malawi to remain stagnant,” he said.
On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden asked Congress to remove some gas taxes in order to bring down record fuel prices.
In the US, fuel prices have gone up by 60 per cent within a year while in South Africa, fuel prices have gone up record high and Saudi Arabia hiked fuel prices higher than expected.
But some Malawians have taken up in various social media platforms to express displeasure at the fuel hike as this will trigger another circle of commodity price increase.
Addressing the press in Lilongwe on Wednesday evening, MERA Chief Executive Officer Henry Kachaje said the fuel increase is due to the increase of the commodity on the international market.
He also said the 25 percent devaluation of the Kwacha has pushed transportation costs of fuel up.
He said the increases, which are 44.9 percent for petrol and 30.6 percent for diesel, are beyond the 5 percent bracket provided for under the automatic pricing mechanism currently used to determine retail prices of petroleum products.
To cushion Malawians from the effects of such global price movements, he said MERA is hoping that Malawi will in the short to long term be able to find cheaper ways of moving fuel into the country.