BELIZE CITY, Wed. Jan. 11, 2017–Belizean consumers, who have been paying between $80 and $90 for a 100-pound tank of cooking fuel, are being hit with an increase of roughly $15, based on latest information released in an announcement from the Government of Belize.
New controlled prices for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), used primarily for cooking as well as to power gas-fueled dryers in households, are in effect as of today, Wednesday, January 11, 2017, according to information released from the Supplies Control Unit in the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce.
The new price list reflects two changes: the first being a change in the mixture of LPG which is to be sold on the market and the second being the price, based on the cost to import the propane-butane mixture.
Rodolfo Gutierrez, Consumer Protection Liaison Officer, told Amandala that the 60:40 and 90:10 propane-butane mix which was being imported from Mexico and Central America, respectively, is no longer to be sold on the market. He said that the mix agreed in a consultation with the companies is 70:30; however, the Government had made a concession to allow them to import the other mixtures because the companies said that they could not supply sufficient gas to meet the local demand with the 70:30 mix.
Gutierrez said that the price increase, if the three types were to be imported, would be $12 for the 90:10 mix, $15 for the 70:30 mix and $17 for the 60:40 mix, based on the 100-pound cylinder prices and the increases in acquisition costs.
A retailer told us that prices have been stable at $81 for the 100-pound for almost 2 years, but the increase is now being caused by higher prices on the world market.
Gutierrez said that it is customary for LPG prices to spike around the winter, due to increased demand. Back in December 2014, he said, a 100-pound tank of 60:40 LPG fetched $104 while the 90:10 mix fetched $101 for the 100-pound tank.
The major port from which the LPG is imported, he said, is Honduras, which sources the LPG from outside of Central America.
Gutierrez said that the price spike is seasonal; however, he did not have projections on hand to indicate when an ease in butane prices is expected.