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Oct 7, 2020

Are the Central American LPG Companies Being Forced Out of the Business?

Audrey Matura

According to Matura, the government has not defined what a wholesale volume is. She says that the way it is regulated – or the lack thereof – is essentially aimed at putting her clients out of business. She says that her clients have been relegated to being only retailers and so they need their own license to import. Matura explains.

 

Audrey Matura, Attorney-at-law

“National is saying that I have to sell it to you at two dollars and twenty-six cents for the first month and that same monthly BWEL would have been able to buy it at wholesale from their supplier for one dollar and sixty-four cents; ZETA quotation that they have is one dollar and fifty-nine cents and TOMZA’s was one dollar and seventy-nine cents – far below the two dollars and twenty-six cents they have to buy in bulk. The acquisition for them already included freight. So. Now based on that dollar and sixty three cents that they would have been able to buy it for less, whatever mark they do that is where they would have made their profit. So, they are saying if you allow me to bring it in for my dollar and sixty three cents so that I can resell bulk I can compete with National since National is selling it for two dollars and twenty-six cents but the idea is to get them out of the competition. You see, what the political figures are not saying is that they created a monopoly to do several things – to make sure their political favourite friends are the ones controlling the industry; to make sure there is no other competition the market; not only are they putting them out of the importation business but also out of the mass distribution – the wholesale distribution business and relegated them to only retailers. That has a long term effect for consumers and Belizeans will be paying five dollars a gallon again at a time when from 2016 to present what was the price of LPG internationally. Between 2018 and 2019 it had gone up and then it began to taper down here in 2020 and it went really low here in 2020 and it went up and gradually stayed at fifty-one cents. Nothing has changed – fifty-one cents nothing has changed since National has been operating, yet every month is national is increasing on us.”


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