Malawi hikes fuel price over Kwacha’s fall to Dollar

Motorists in the country will again have to dig deeper into their pockets following the upward adjustments of fuel prices by Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA).

The regulator announced on Wednesday that they have  adjusted upwards fuel prices effective February 6, 2014.

Petrol will now be selling at 839 kwacha from 760 kwacha. Diesel will be selling at K853.40 up from K770 per litre, this represents 10.39 percent and 10.80 percent respectively.

 Fuel pump prices up
Fuel pump prices up

MERA board chairperson Lyton Zinyemba said in a statement that the hike is as a result of depreciation of the kwacha to the dollar.

The kwacha continues to lose ground against major trading currencies and has slipped further to K465 to a dollar in some foreign exchange bureaus and authorised dealer banks (ADBs), according to Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) daily forex figures.

Daily foreign exchange bureau rates show the kwacha selling at K465 to a dollar which is a steep fall from K430 to dollar in early November last year.

Spot-checks revealed that on the parallel market or black market, a dollar is selling at K455 and buying at K465, indicating a steep fall in the value of the local unit which was selling at K330 mid-last year.

Financial analysts predict that the local currency will continue ceding against other foreign currencies in view of prevailing economic environment.

Malawi’s major donors under the Common Approach to Budget Support (Cabs) are withholding budget support for Malawi worth $150 million (over K60 billion) following the revelations of massive public funds abuse at Capital Hill popularly known as cashgate.

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