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Oct 30, 2014

Financial Secretary Joe Waight Says Cost of Fuel Is Expected to Reduce

The cost of fuel in Belize has dominated the airwaves in the past couple weeks. Actually it’s not exactly the cost – which has been consistently high for years now. It’s the fact the price per barrel of oil has been down for some time now, and continues to fall. Every single time the price per barrel of oil goes up we see the almost immediate hike in pump prices. But somehow, when the reverse is true, pump prices don’t seem to go down. It’s a very legitimate concern which raises all kinds of unpleasant speculation that G.O.B. is holding on to the increased revenue by refusing to pass the decrease in cost down to the consumers. Today, we asked Financial Secretary Joe Waight about it, and he confirmed that very shortly pump prices will go down. That’s welcome news, if a little late in coming.

 

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“We all watch the news, we all see what’s happening on CNN reports in the morning and indeed the price of crude oil in world market has dropped I think by twenty dollars a barrel or even a little more. The last time I heard is around eighty dollars a barrel up from a high of maybe a hundred and five, three-four months. The question then is why aren’t we feeling that at the pump. The answer is there’s a lot. Belize is always a little behind the curve when it comes to seeing the pass through of the prices. We buy from Venezuela; Venezuela is also part of the oil producing and their prices fall and rise with the world price. But we do expect to see very shortly a downturn in the prices. It is not a question of government robbing the difference and pocketing it, but remember we have a small volume—half of one percent—and because the volumes are so small, there are certain fixed costs including freight and insurance and so that tend to keep the price a little higher than you’d see in the world today. If you are buying oil in Los Angeles, you see the drop at the pump because of the millions and millions of gallons they sell a day. We barely do two-three thousand barrels a day here in Belize. So because we are small, the prices are more rigid, but we do expect to see a fall through on the price very soon and we’ll pass it on.”

 

Mike Rudon

Joseph Waight

“Belizeans will be happy to hear that, but they will also be asking when. You have been in the ministry a long time so you are fully aware of the timeline when the next shipment is coming in and when that will translate to a reduction and you would probably be able to give me an idea, with twenty dollars down of how much that reduction will be.”

 

Joseph Waight

“Well the thing is this. More recently, the last two or three days since we are buying from TRAFEGO and PUMA, they are bringing into Belize a single product at a time. So it could be that a tanker comes in every two weeks or so, but it is not the four products as before; it is maybe one or two products at a time. I think the last price change came in the last week; it was a slight down in diesel. But we expect to see a big shipment coming in another two weeks or so and there should be a substantial fall in the price, but how much, I don’t know. Usually it is about a twenty-fifteen cents at a time and we will pass it on. We will pass it on to the consumer when it comes.”

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1 Response for “Financial Secretary Joe Waight Says Cost of Fuel Is Expected to Reduce”

  1. Steve D says:

    How come we’re always the 1st to feel a price increase and the last to see any reduction? Don’t we have ANY political clout, whether it’s Red or Blue that’s giuding us. Wake Up Belize!

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