Friday, January 23, 2009

Mozambique Reduces Fuel Price By 30 Percent

Mozambique reduces fuel price by 30 percent

MAPUTO--For the fourth consecutive month, the Mozambican government has cut the price of liquid fuels in response to the international fall in oil prices.

As from yesterday, petrol fell in price from 34,74 to 24,32 meticais per litre, a decline of 30 per cent. (At current exchange rates, there are about 25,4 meticais to the US dollar).

The price of kerosene falls by 20 per cent, from 24,4 to 19,47 meticais per litre.

The price of diesel, however, remains unchanged at 28,06 meticais a litre. This is because the government has now re-imposed VAT on diesel imports. VAT was temporarily suspended in June, at the height of the 2008 fuel crisis. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Energy Minister Salvador Namburete said that all petrol stations must use the new price as from midnight. He warned "there are always opportunists who try to prolong the previous price on the grounds that they are still selling old stocks of fuel. We say now that this will not be tolerated."

At the time of previous price reductions, there were operators who attempted to rob customers by continuing to use the old prices.

Namburete said that those who were caught had been punished, and the same would happen this time.

Responding to a claim that fuel prices are still lower in South Africa than in Mozambique, Namburete said this was due to South Africa’s ocean terminals and the costs of transport.

He said the government had no way and no intention of stopping Mozambicans living near the border from driving into South Africa to fill up their tanks, or from importing small amounts of fuel in plastic containers for their own consumption.

The new prices are for sales to the public in the port cities where the refined fuels are unloaded. —

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