FUEL PRICES UNDER DISCUSSION:
The price of fuel was the topic on The Morning Show today. Our guests were representatives of the Service Station Dealers Association, Daniel Habet and Sergio Chuc. Habet came to the studio prepared to give us a breakdown on the cost of fuels, beginning with premium gasoline.
Its three dollars and seventy-six cents acquisition cost for the premium and the GOB tax is three dollars and ninety-four cents this is a per gallon basis. Right next to it you see that the company margin for that particular product is ninety-one cents, the dealer margin is seventy-nine cents and the freight to Belize City is seven cents, this give you a total of about eight dollars and ninety-seven cents. The pump price might be one or two cents difference because when all the taxes are averaged you get the point something which might add up to one or two cents so this might be off one or two cents.
According to Habet, the per-gallon acquisition cost of regular gasoline is three dollars and 65 cents, and government tax is three dollars and 77 cents. For kerosene the acquisition cost is three dollars and 92 cents and Government tax is a dollar and five cents, and for Diesel the acquisition cost is three dollars and 77 cents and Government tax is a dollar and 89 cents. We asked our guests about the possibility that Mexico's national fuel distributor, Pemex, might set up in Belize. Chuc told us that he believes such a move is not reasonable.
Because if Pemex is selling at world prices, Pemex is small compared to Esso who is the sole importer of fuel to Belize and Esso obviously gets their fuel on world prices and so Pemex will have to come and put in the infrastructure. And for a small market like Belize it is not reasonable because Esso already has an infrastructure in place and then there are the two other distributors Texaco and Sol Belize that already have the infrastructure in place to distribute the fuel and then for Pemex to come and set up shop it would cost them too much and the market is just too small. It would be easier for Pemex to go to Guatemala City because the population is larger and set up two big gas stations and there will be little cost attached to it as compare to them coming to Belize for half a million people and setting up a depot.
Chuc says his investigation reveals that Mexico is buying fuel from refineries in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in the U-S, because Mexican refineries are only producing Diesel in sufficient quantities for their domestic market. He said that this would mean the Pemex price in Belize would not be much lower than present prices. Reporter Marion Ali was on the street this morning talking with people about the same topic. Taxi drivers told her that high fuel prices are having a negative effect on them. One driver put it this way.
It cause our price to be high and we don t get jobs because of the price the costumers prefer to wait for the city bus or walk which makes it rough for us. Along with the high prices we are barely getting any jobs and right now the Government is taxing us and we are really confused about the situation.
With the increase of fuel prices has taxi fare increase?
"No it has not, we cannot increase because that will put us out of business, we will not have costumers so that is the situation that we are facing. The price of fuel is really hurting us as taxi drivers, and in my opinion I think the Government should do better that what they are doing because the taxes are too high."
A taxi driver in Belize City talking about the cost of fuel.