Friday, September 22, 2023

Update on Zata Debeko and Rama

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Daily Ethiopian news update on October 14, 2022. But the bills are what has been growing over the years. Last year alone, about USD four billion was spent on gas imports, a USD one billion increase from the preceding year. It is also the same amount Ethiopia earned from the best-performing export sector. For the existing fiscal year, about USD five billion is expected to be spent on fuel imports. The import of this single item alone might surpass the income earned from the export of goods. Tadesse has more concerns about foreign currency spent to pay for fuel imports. If prices spike higher, he says there may be no better option than lowering the import quantity. “Even though we can afford it, we might not have enough foreign currency to pay for it. The public buys fuel in local currency while the government has to shell out the scarce foreign currency,” Tadesse said. The latest decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to reduce the production of oil in their countries by two million barrels per day is feared to cause more trouble for Ethiopia’s inflationary economy. The OPEC Plus, a group of 23 oil-producing and exporting countries mainly dominated by Saudi Arabia and Russia, came up with a decision to curb global fuel supply last Wednesday in a bid to increase fuel prices. It is a move that has Western countries, including the US, vexed. Already struggling with an increasing import bill for fuel and scarce foreign currency, the decision and its implications also had the petroleum industry in Ethiopia highly concerned. The government was unable to bear the financial burden due to the increasing cost of fuel and began lifting fuel subsidies in July 2022.

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