‘Oil business picking up’ - The Times Group Malawi

Fuel importing consortium, Petroleum Importers Limited are happy that the oil business has started to pick up

Post was last updated: September 16, 2020

Fuel importing consortium, Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL) has said business has started picking up amid an economic slowdown stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Oil demand steeply fell during the first half of 2020 due to travel restrictions initiated by different countries in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

PIL General Manager, Martin Msimuko, said in an interview, that between March and July, business fell by about 15 percent.

Msimuko said since government listed oil as an essential commodity and the government is easing some restrictions, business has picked up and soon it will stabilise.

He, however, said there are fears that the picking up of business globally and locally may lead to a surge in prices of the commodity.

“Our price is rated using the automatic pricing mechanism and that one has a trigger of five percent whether it is on the price on the international market or the foreign exchange so these two items have moved in the upward direction which means ordinarily there should be an impact on the fuel price,” Msimuko said.

Last week, the Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) called upon government to quickly appoint the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) board to start analysing fuel prices before the country is caught unaware.

Cama Executive Director John Kapito indicated that the reason the country is seeing stabilised fuel prices despite a rise on the international market is because Mera does not have a board.

“We have noted that on the international market prices of fuel are increasing as economies begin to open up after Covid-19 lockdowns. Again we have noted that the kwacha has been falling. Definitely they would have to increase fuel prices anytime,” Kapito said.

Demand for fuel globally has also started rising as people are learning to live with pandemic and countries are easing lockdowns.

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