Zimbabwe consumed 480 million litres of petrol and diesel in six months between June and November last year than in the same period in 2017.
This is a 77 percent increase, at an additional foreign currency cost of more than US$200 million. It is not known as of now who used the extra fuel and for what. Figures released by the Ministry of Energy and Power Development show that consumption of diesel and petrol in the first five months of 2018 were roughly similar to those during the same period in 2017. Consumption of petrol in March 2018 was more than twice the March 2017 level, but that was partly compensated by the January 2018 level which was more than 40 percent below the January 2017 level.
But between June and November consumption rose exponentially each month with diesel peaking in October at 109 percent of the October 2017 level and petrol in September increasing by 126 percent of the 2017 level. Consumption then started dropping sharply and by November both fuels were around 38 percent above 2017 levels. Diesel consumption was 71 percent higher in the six months, June to November overall, while petrol was 86 percent. Economic experts interviewed by The Herald argue that fuel consumption in an economy, especially over a short period like a year, should mirror economic growth.