Zimbabwe Filling Stations Run Dry Due to Currency Shortages

(Bloomberg) -- Some filling stations in Zimbabwe’s capital have run out of gasoline as the country deals with currency shortages, Transport Minister Joram Gumbo said.

“When the foreign currency is eventually released, it takes some time to arrange the transport logistics to deliver the fuel to affected stations,” he said in a statement handed to reporters Wednesday in Harare. “There are many competing demands on the available foreign currency.”

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube is preparing to announce the 2019 budget tomorrow while juggling a ballooning fiscal deficit, foreign-exchange shortages that are fueling inflation, and an inability to raise foreign loans because of $5.6 billion of debt arrears.

Zimbabwe last month signed a gasoline-supply agreement with a unit of Trafigura Beheer BV and is in talks with Total Zimbabwe Ltd. and others about securing more. The government accord with Sakunda Holdings will help alleviate a shortage of fuel that’s led to queues outside gas stations in Harare and other centers.

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