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No ease for Belizean drivers despite 20% plunge in crude prices

EconomyNo ease for Belizean drivers despite 20% plunge in crude prices

BELIZE CITY–Amidst reports that US consumers are paying pump prices as low as they did back in 2011, Amandala has received queries from the public asking why pump prices here have not eased as well, despite a substantial falloff of 20% on world market prices since this August.

Official information provided to us by the Ministry of Finance indicates that while a gallon of premium gasoline was priced at $11.72 in Belize City back in August 2014, when crude was over US$100 a barrel, the controlled price fixed by the Ministry of Finance now stands at $11.64 a gallon for premium gasoline – a savings of 8 cents, although the marker price for crude is down to roughly US$80 a barrel.

Today, Amandala called the Ministry of Finance to try to get some answers from Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, but since he was unavailable, we spoke with his deputy, Marion Palacio.

Palacio told Amandala that there is a lag between the movement of prices on the world market and the prices that are used when a fuel shipment arrives in Belize. He said that prices are locked to the purchase price, so changes on the world market won’t take immediate effect.

We asked Palacio for information on the latest price adjustments, as well as the breakdown of pump prices, which he did provide to us today.

Those tables quote the landed cost for regular gasoline at $6.37 in mid-August 2014 and $6.24 for the last price adjustment dated October 28, 2014, only a marginal decline.

A barrel of crude was selling for around US$80 this week on the world market and market forecasts by Goldman Sachs project a further decline to US$70 next year.

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