The continued high prices of crude oil on the international market will potentially result in another fuel price hike at the end of April beyond the current prices with such trends anticipated to sustain over the next few months.
The Oil Marketing Companies Association of Zambia is anticipating around a 1 to 2 percent fuel hike at the end of April when the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) reviews fuel pump prices while the conflict in Ukraine sustains negative effects on international pricing mechanisms.
Association President Kafula Mubanga tells Phoenix News that the sustained war in Ukraine will continue to negatively affect the pricing of fuel in zambia especially that the country has no control over international pricing mechanisms.
The current price of crude oil on the international market is over $108 per barrel while the local price for petrol was last increased to K26.50 from K21.96 previously and diesel up to K26.22 up from K21.54 with both signaling an increase of over K4.50.
And on recent revelations by Energy Minister Peter Kapala that government will remove all remaining subsidies and waivers on fuel by the end of June 2022, Dr. Mubanga is confident that government has conducted a thorough analysis to determine that the benefit of doing so would outweigh the losses especially with the anticipated impact on ordinary citizens.
Meanwhile, Agro-economist Frank Kayula has anticipated an increase in the price of fertilizer to over k1000 per bag as a result of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war which will affect Zambia’s food security.
Dr Kayula in an interview with phoenix news says this will also likely see increased prices of seeds on the market which will disadvantage farmers.
Dr Kayula says once price of seeds go up, it has the potential to affect beneficiaries of the farmer input support program which and result in government reducing the number of beneficiaries on the program.
He has however advised government to consider enhancing the use of sustainable agriculture and organic fertilizer in order to ensure nutrients are given to the soil to maintain productivity as one way to cushion the impact the war in Russia and Ukraine has on the agriculture sector.