Mozambican fuel distribution companies are demanding an increase in the price of fuel, on the grounds that they are making heavy losses with the current prices, fixed by the government about a year ago.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday 13th April, Michael Ussene, chairperson of the Mozambican Association of Petroleum Companies (Amepetrol), said the ideal price for a litre of diesel would be 110 meticais (1.7 US dollars, at the current exchange rate), rather than the current 87.97 meticais. Ussene believed that petrol should be sold for 104 meticais a litre, rather than 86.97 meticais.
Ussene was thus calling for a 25 per cent rise in the price of diesel, and 20 per cent in the price of petrol.
He said that Amepetrol had been disappointed at the sudden announcement by the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that, as from May, they intend to cut crude oil production by a million barrels a day. This has led to immediate rises on oil prices on the world market.
“The price of a barrel of Brent crude, which is the reference point in our region, has risen to more than 80 dollars”, Ussene added. “According to the current prices of fuel at the petrol stations, we should be buying Brent for less than 70 dollars a barrel.
But in fact today a barrel of Brent costs 83 to 84 dollars, and this is hugely damaging to Mozambique and to the neighbouring countries”.
Since prices had risen internationally, they also had to rise on the Mozambican market, Ussene insisted – especially since the compensation mechanisms by which the state should clear its debt of some 450 million dollars to the fuel companies, are not working.
The last price rise in Mozambique was in July 2022, when the price of a litre of petrol rose from 83.3 to 86.97 meticais, while the price of a litre of diesel rose from 78.97 to 87.97 meticais.