While the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) war wages on between the National Gas Company (NGC) and the former importers, the government has announced new fixed controlled prices for the product. Notably, this was before a start date for the NGC has been announced. The former LPG Companies are concerned that the new prices reflect an increase that will have to be paid by the consumer. These concerns were brought to Love News by their attorney, Audrey Matura.
Audrey Matura, Attorney: “Under the new SI 71 of 2020 the retail price for LPG to the consumer has gone up. It has gone up by 31 cents per gallon, it has not gone down as government had promised the monopoly company the creation of it was to bring about reduction in prices. Well this is the first price regime since the old importer have stopped business and the monopoly company has taken over importation and the bad news is that the price has gone up. In terms of the wholesale price it has also gone up so what my clients are looking at is that it would have cost them $1.70 Belize per gallon wholesale to sell it to anyone who wants to buy it wholesale. Under the new regime it costs $2.26 wholesale so the difference of .56 cents now that is what the person buying wholesale will have to pay more. So again bad news the price of LPG has gone up both wholesale and retail. The monopoly company is saying that they paid more to get LPG into the country, they paid more than the previous companies. Why would they pay more ? Two reasons. One, they have a middle man they’re not going to negotiate directly to get the best price and then import it to Belize and then distribute it they went and they bought from a middle man named Caribe – something and Caribe clearly was the one that went and negotiated directly with the producers got his price Caribe then adds his profits and then sells it to the national monopoly has to add its own charges as I read you under this schedule that’s why there’s a price increase. Although on world market it is lower for the National Gas Company to stay within the formula to make the margins of profits that they projected in their own studies thee price of LPG cannot be too low in Belize it has to be maintained at a certain price and one way they make profits too is that certain taxes they don’t pay so all they make is strict profits.”
According to a press release from the government, the spike in prices is precipitated by cutbacks in production in major producing country such as the US, Mexico, Russia, and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). As it relates to wholesale prices, across the country, it stands at two dollars and twenty-six cents. In terms of retail, in urban areas, which includes all cities and towns, the price per pound is eighty-eight cents while the price per gallon is three dollars and eight six cents. For rural areas, the price per pound is ninety cents and the price per gallon is three dollars and ninety-six cents. These prices came into effect yesterday, May 13.