By Chisomo Phiri

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse government continue to bite hard Malawians following fuel hike expected in February.

The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority ( MERA) says the fuel prices in the country will increase by February, 2022 due to an increase in fuel transportation costs and depreciation of Kwacha against major foreign currencies such as United States Dollar.

In a statement, the regulatory body says since the determination of the ruling prices in October, 2021, the Malawi Kwacha has slightly deprecated against the United States Dollar by 0.12%, from an average of MK832. 49/USD to the current average of MK824. 48/USD.

On the other hand, MERA says the Free On Board ( FOB) prices of Petrol, Diesel and Paraffin have increased by 7.15%, 14. 87% and 15. 99% respectively.

” The combined effect of the performance of the key determinants may result in higher landed costs of petroleum products in the month of February, 2022. To date, the landed costs of Petrol, Diesel and Paraffin have increased by 6.04%, 13.35%, and 13.91% respectively.

As at January 25, 2022, the Price Stabilization Fund( PSF) balances for Petrol, Diesel, and Paraffin averaged MK0. 9 billion against the recommended minimum of MK5 billion,” reads the statement.

MERA adds that under the Automatic Fuel Pricing Mechanism, pump prices qualify for an adjustment when the landed costs of petroleum products move beyond £ 5% trigger limit.

The body says, in the upcoming energy prices review, it will consider the following: changes in landed costs, the PSF status, the need to enable importing companies to recover importation costs, and the goal of promoting consumers’ interests with respect to fuel prices and continuity of supply.

The statement comes the time as the citizenry is nursing the wounds of high fuel prices, a development that has caused the prices of other goods and commodities go up.

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