January 7, 2019 / 4:01 PM / 5 months ago

AB Inbev brewing partner in Zimbabwe hikes beer prices by 25 percent

HARARE, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe’s largest brewer Delta Corporation hiked beer prices by 25 percent on Monday citing high local costs, announcing the move days after it was forced to abandon another plan to accept only hard currency payments for its products.

Like many companies in Zimbabwe, Delta, which is 40 percent-owned by Anheuser-Busch Inbev, has been hit by an acute shortage of U.S. dollars, affecting its capacity to import inputs like concentrates and remit dividends to foreign shareholders.

Delta said it was still to make a decision on prices of soft drinks and other products.

“The adjustment to the wholesale price is meant to cushion against the significant increases in local costs, confirmed by the official inflation statistics,” Delta said in a statement.

Annual inflation soared to a 10-year high of 31.01 percent in November after prices of basic goods spiked.

Zimbabwe has experienced a shortage of soft drinks and beer since November with shops limiting quantities, while some businesses tripled prices to take advantage of the shortages.

Delta said last week it had abandoned a plan to accept only hard currency payments to cope with a crippling shortage of U.S. dollars, after the government intervened. (Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe Editing by Edmund Blair)

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