Malawi hikes fuel prices by 27%

8 November 2011, Sweetcrude, Lilongwe – Malawi increased fuel prices by an average 27 percent on Tuesday, a move likely to trigger broader inflation in the southern African nation that has already seen violent protests this year because of the dire state of the economy.

The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) said the pump price of petrol had increased by 31 percent, diesel by 38 percent and paraffin by 10 percent to reflect higher world commodity prices since its last revision in January, according to Reuters report.

Those increases have been exacerbated by a 10 percent devaluation of the kwacha introduced in August to counter a chronic lack of dollars in the domestic economy.

Fuel shortages and the soaring cost of imported goods caused unprecedented demonstrations in July against President Bingu wa Mutharika, whose security forces killed 19 people in an ensuing crackdown.

Following the adjustments, petrol will now sell at $2.3 per litre, up from $1.8, and diesel at $2.1, up from $1.6 per litre.
Food accounts for 58 percent of Malawi’s inflation basket.

Year-on-year inflation stood at 7.7 percent in September, up from 7.6 percent in August.

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