Sudan fuel shortage hikes black market prices

6 May, 2018 12:00 AM printer

KHARTOUM: Black market fuel prices surged on Saturday in Khartoum and other Sudanese towns as petrol and diesel shortages forced residents to queue for hours outside gas stations.

Fuel supplies began dwindling in early April, with officials blaming maintenance delays at a key refinery, although foreign currency shortages have also played a role, reports AFP.

The crisis has since escalated despite official pledges to resolve it.

The shortage has hiked prices of petrol on the black market, with a gallon costing 150 pounds ($5.30, 4.40 euros) in Khartoum, over five times the official price of 27 pounds. "I purchased two gallons at this high cost from the black market," said Mohamed Abbas, a resident of a working class neighbourhood in the capital.

"I bought it from someone who had filled his car tank after waiting the whole night at a fuel station."

Another Khartoum resident told AFP that he too had waited through the night outside a fuel station to fill his tank.

"From 11:00 pm Friday until 7:00 am today I was waiting in my car at a fuel station," he said.

Most petrol stations were receiving less than their alloted quotas of petrol and diesel, with attendants often keeping the outlets shut once they sold their stock.