Beer prices surge after Delta turns to forex sales

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

ZIMBABWEAN drinkers have been priced out of their favourite beverages following top brewer Delta Corporation Limited’s recent decision to sell some of its products in hard currency.

The country’s leading beverage manufacturer on Friday last week dumped the local bond note and RTGS and started pricing beer products in US dollars.

The new pricing regime has triggered a sharp increase in the price of beer.

A snap survey in Bulawayo by revealed that the retail price of beer has increased by more than 100 percent.

Liquor outlet owners said the price of a 375ml brown bottle is now costing US$1.50 up from $1 bond while a 750ml brown bottle is now pegged at US$3 from $2 bond.

The price of a 750ml green bottle is now US$3.50, up from $2.75 bond.

Similarly, 375ml of the same product is now costing US$2, up from $1.50 bond.

According to prevailing black market exchange rates, a single US dollar fetches $3,40 bond notes or $3,90 through electronic transfer.

Most bottle stores and other liquor outlets are now charging varying amounts depending on where they sourced the foreign currency to buy the beer from Delta.

“In order for me to make profit, I am now selling a 750ml bottle of green beers for $7 bond. I am sourcing the forex from the black market where the rates are very low here in Bulawayo,” said a bottle store owner who refused to be named.

As a result of Delta’s move, the price for a bottle of the popular 750ml (quart) pilsner now varies from $4 bond to $8 at bottle stores while the pints now cost between $2.50 and $3.50 bond.

In January this year, Delta was forced to withdraw a notice to sell its products only in foreign currency after assurance from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) it was going to give the company enough forex to continue manage its operations.