Picture: Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo/File Photo

HARARE – Delta Corporation, the Zimbabwe associate unit of ABInBev says foreign currency supply has improved on official platforms in Zimbabwe and has notified clients that it no-longer requires payment for soft drinks and alcoholic beverages in United States Dollars.

Delta operations director, Max Karombo, said in a letter to wholesalers and retailers on Tuesday that the forex supply and access situation on the official interbank forex market has improved.

Noted Karombo: “Following the improvement of foreign currency availability on the Interbank market for ongoing operations, we are pleased to offer all our returnable glass packs in RTGS$ with immediate effect. This policy position applies to both beer and soft drinks.”

Inflationary pressures have been on the rampage in Zimbabwe, with the April inflation rate climbing to 75.8%, mainly driven by steep rises in the parallel market forex rates.

Delta Corp said it expected traders to resort back to its suggested prices. This has stoked up expectations of a price reduction for Delta’s alcoholic and soft drink beverages.

“We urge all our wholesale and retail partners to align prices to our suggested price schedule,” added Karombo.

Companies starved of foreign currency resources to import raw materials have been utilizing the parallel market and passing on costs to consumers.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said on Tuesday: “Multi-currency regime remains in place.”

However, most businesses in Zimbabwe such as Delta had started to demand payment for products in foreign currency from retailers and wholesalers.

Many others, such as Simbisa Brands, which runs Chicken Inn, Nando’s, Pizza Inn and Steers counters continue to accept all forms of currencies.

The Zimbabwean Finance Minister added that the government was refining the interbank forex market with the aim of developing it into major source of forex for companies.

However, the parallel market rates for US Dollar and the local RTGS$ unit have remained lucrative for those holding forex as rates are around 1:8 compared to 1:5 for the official interbank market.

“We are determined to f-ne tuning the interbank so that it becomes the market through which to access forex,” Ncube said after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE