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Petroleum Importers Limited sees stability in fuel supply

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Martin Msimuko

Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL) has secured four million litres of petrol and another two million litres of diesel, which are expected to help ease fuel supply pressure in the country.

Batches of the commodities are expected to start arriving in the country on Thursday, according to PIL General Manager Martin Msimuko.

He said this when the firm received another consignment of one million litres of diesel at Blantyre train station on Monday, which came through the port of Nacala in Mozambique via rail.

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However, Msimuko was quick to point out that continued importation of the commodity depends on support from the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM).

“This will beef up the product in Malawi because, using rail, we can bring in huge volumes at once. There were 25 wagons which are about one million litres. This means that, in terms of diesel, we are going to be secure for some days and we ask the central bank to continue supporting us with foreign exchange.

“We have in the past few weeks been able to source petrol and, in the past week, we have brought in some two million litres of petrol and in the next two weeks we have secured another four million litres of petrol,” Msimuko said.

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Currently, Malawi consumes 845,000 litres of petrol and 834,00 litres of diesel per day.

According to the RBM’s Monetary Policy Report published in October, gross official reserves declined to $357.2 million, representing 1.43 months of imports, in the third quarter of 2022 from $415.7 million, 1.66 months of imports recorded in the second quarter.

The amount represents a 31.5 percent decline in forex reserves when compared to the $521.9 million, representing 2.09 months of imports, recorded in the third quarter of 2021.

Long fuel queues have become the order of the day in the country’s major cities and towns owing to erratic supply of fuel due to foreign exchange scarcity.

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