The price hikes that have been experienced over the past few weeks have continued unabated with retailers trying to cushion their businesses against acute foreign currency shortages.
Some products that have their retail prices increased according to a Newsday survey include a two-litre bottle of cooking oil which is now selling at between $13 and $15, up from about $11 and two litres of Mazoe orange crush which increased from $8,50 to $13.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president Denford Mutashu told Newsday on Sunday that the increases stemmed from changing trading terms. Said Mutashu:
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The increases are suffocating the consumers who are hapless under the current situation.
It is, however, a chicken and egg situation as suppliers have been increasing prices into the sector at a faster pace, citing rising costs.
Some suppliers are demanding payment in cash or United States dollars, which pushes sector players to the parallel market.
Trading terms have shifted drastically and more are on cash on delivery and moved from extended payment terms like a week (7 days), fortnight (14 days) and a month (30 days), citing changing operating environment anchored on one’s ability to source cheaper foreign currency.
The economy is dangerously dependent on the US$ availability in most sectors.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) president Peter Mutasa blamed the collusion between the government and businesses in pursuing a capitalist agenda for the hardships on workers.