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Fuel price hike inevitable says PM Print E-mail
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Thursday, 17 May 2018 00:00

On Tuesday May 15 the Government of Belize announced yet another increase in the price of fuel. Regular gasoline will go up by 10 cents to $11.14 per gallon while diesel will go up to $10.60 up by 11 cents. Meanwhile premium will see a slight decrease of 3 cents to $11.36 per gallon and kerosene likewise will fall by 12 cents to $7.75 per gallon.

Commenting on the price changes on Wednesday, Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow expressed that the country is going to be in for a difficult time as a result of global cost of oil increasing at what he referred to as an alarming rate. He said that geopolitical decisions of decreasing oil supply by OPEC as well as the country’s inability to secure fuel from Venezuela as a result of U.S. sanctions on that country has made the price surge.  That is compounded by sanctions to Iran which will have that producer reduce its contribution to the global stock. This he said have analysts say it is the perfect cocktail for petroleum to surge to 100 dollars per barrel.

While that is at the international level, PM Barrow noted that government has not raised its take on fuel for the past two years and we cannot afford to reduce it. He noted that for every 10 cent reduction in the take by government it costs in the region of between 2 and 3 million dollars loss in revenue to government. The PM cited that already GOB has held discussions with importers to reduce their margins which had been set when they were asked to import fuel from Venezuela. Since that is no longer the case, the government is asking importers to reduce their margins which has resulted in the price increase not being as acute. Another measure that the government is looking at is to ask importers to not pass on the price increases all at once but to do so in a phased approach with a view that they would recover their cost further down the line. This would prevent consumer from suffering the brunt of price increases.