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Sep 16, 2011

Government agrees to meet with LPG importers; if strike is lifted

Last Friday, LPG importers, Gas Tomza, BWEL and Zeta Gas went on strike after government failed to approve a price adjustment sought since February because of high acquisition costs. The government insisted that before any adjustment could be discussed, the importers had to comply with new regulations that the companies need to have scales on their delivery trucks as well as at the depots. The importers argue that they already have the scales and that government had agreed to a price increase for the PEMEX group back in June.  Government’s response is that its decision to adjust the controlled prices for the PEMEX group was based on the quality of the mixture sold. Government says that through independent testing that the mixtures by source are varyingly different and that higher propane to butane mixtures are associated with lower acquisition prices. On the matter of the scales, government now agrees that there is “an acceptable measure of compliance” and that in light of this it is prepared to meet with importers next week. But there is a proviso; it is insisting that the three importers discontinue the strike before talks can resume. We’ll see what the next move by the importers will be next week.

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