Retailers raise cooking oil price alarm
THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) says it has engaged cooking oil producers in the country over the arbitrary raising of prices of the commodity.
Cooking oil is one of the products listed under Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, which removes several goods from the Open General Import Licence.
The Statutory Instrument was promulgated in June this year to control imports entering the country.
Over the past few months, the price of cooking oil has risen and presently stands at $3,60 for a 2 litre bottle, up from about $2,89.
CZR president Mr Denford Mutashu told Business Chronicle that this was counteracting their efforts of improving the business landscape.
“We’ve received reports that some retailers almost doubled the price of cooking oil yesterday (Monday), maybe it was a panic reaction and we find that quite disturbing,” Mr Mutashu said.
“We’ve since engaged the cooking oil producers because the consumers will assume that it is the retailers who are increasing prices. Such occurrences erode instead of improving the operating environment.”
Oil expressers have in the recent past demanded that all cooking oil sales be transacted in cash, saying they need to import critical raw materials required in producing the commodity.
Oil Expressers’ Association of Zimbabwe president Mr Sylvester Mangani said the prices of cooking oil have seen marginal increases in line with the cost of international crude prices since this is an imported product.
“In general, cooking oil prices in Zimbabwe remain the lowest in the region,” he said.
United Refineries Limited chief executive officer Mr Busisa Moyo, whose company is a leading cooking oil producer, could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone rang unanswered.
Meanwhile, CZR said its members were recording brisk business since the release of bond notes. — @BiancaMlilo.