Zambia Energy Regulator Cuts Fuel Prices After President’s Call

  • International oil prices climb 13% in December; kwacha drops
  • Regulator has duty to ensure fuel price are cost-reflective

President of Zambia, Edgar Lungu.

Photographer: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Zambia’s Energy Regulation Board cut fuel prices after President Edgar Lungu said this weekend he expected it to do so even as Brent crude climbed 13 percent last month.

Gasoline prices will fall by 8.8 percent to 13.7 kwacha ($1.26) per liter, while diesel will drop 6 percent to 10.72 kwacha per liter, the regulator told reporters Tuesday in Lusaka, the capital. The changes are effective midnight.

The government increased fuel prices by more than 30 percent in October 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. 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, the ERB said. Zambia imports all of its petroleum products.

The kwacha has depreciated 3.7 percent against the dollar since the start of September to 9.915, while Brent crude has advanced 24 percent over the same period, increasing the cost of imported fuel.

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