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Jun 2, 2022

LPG Prices Sky Rocket in 2022

For 2022, the price of butane peaked in the month of March. Since then, it has seen a steady decline. Despite those decreases, Belizeans are now paying over forty percent more for butane than what they were paying at the beginning of 2021. With the rising cost of numerous goods on the local market, the high cost of butane comes as an added burden to the Belizean consumer. So, what are the factors contributing to this increase, and will Belizeans see some relief anytime soon? News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

The cost of a hundred pound cylinder of butane has increased by over forty dollars in the last year, according to data from the Statistical Institute of Belize. To find out a bit about how food vendors have been coping with the increase in price, we spoke with Chef Ainsley Castro at the Naked Chicken on Mahogany Street.


Ainsley Castro

Ainsley Castro, Chef,Naked Chicken

“This right yah suh, this dah the butane tank weh I use, but ih got three lines on it. I run my deep fryer on it. I run my rotisserie on it, and also I have my stove on it. So, three line run pan one butane, so that the haul a lot of butane. That I use to pay three fifty fih full that, now dah five hundred. And, that wah last me like two weeks and a half. Then weh I do right now fih try cut lee cost, when I do beans you notice I got a big pot deh. I usually do a lot of beans, because I have beans every day.  I would do a forty pound of beans eena this size a pot. If you notice how deep he, big pot, so when I stock he up he up yah suh dah like pure beans.”


Paul Lopez

“So your butane bill on average per month is like a thousand dollars at least.”


Ainsley Castro

“And that is because I have a small one fih the back to.”


Paul Lopez

“You use that?”


Ainsley Castro

“Yeah that is for the next separate stove, because I have three, one fih the fryer, one with the rotisserie, and one fih the main stove. Then I have an additional stove eendeh to, because remember in this business you have to have your equipment because yow ah fail. You can’t run from it, so you just have to go with the program.”


Earlier this year, the Statistical Institute of Belize reported that the price of a hundred pound cylinder  of butane increased by twenty-six dollars in January of 2022, when compared to January of 2021. For 2022, LPG prices peaked in March at one hundred and fifty-nine dollars per hundred pound cylinder.  The National Gas Company is the sole importer of LPG into Belize. So, we asked NGC’s Spokesperson, Daniel Gutierrez, for an explanation.


Daniel Gutierrez

Daniel Gutierrez, Spokesperson, National Gas Company of Belize Ltd.

“It is very clear what has been happening. Unfortunately, over the last few months the prices of energy have skyrocketed around the world. When you take the world largest producer of oil products, that is Russia, and the world’s second largest producer of crude oil, again Russia, you pull them off the market and interrupt that supply, which is essentially what the war has caused, you are going to get a significant increase in the price of oil and gas and oil and gas product. Belize is not a country that produces oil and gas product. We use to produce a small amount of LPG, we don’t anymore as far as I know. So, we are being negatively impacted and impacted hard by the commodity prices as they change around the world.”


Since it peaked in March, there has been a steady decline in prices. The latest controlled price on butaneputs the hundred pound cylinder at one hundred and forty nine dollars, a ten dollar decrease from the month of March.


Daniel Gutierrez

“Generally when the weather gets warmer the prices of LPG goes down, generally. The war in Russia and COVID has changed all of that and the dynamics have changed significantly. Needless to say we hope for it continues to go down. NGC’s job is to continue to pass that down to the Belizean people. That is how the law was set up.”


A few of Chef Ainsley’s best sellers require hours of slow cooking which consequently increases his  demand for butane. That notwithstanding, seldom does he monitor the cost of butane because it’s an absolute necessity for his business.


Ainsley Castro

“You got things like ox tail weh dah one ah mi sellers deh and roast chicken again that’s another one of my sellers, and ox tail take a while. That has to guh pan slow heat and when yo the cook you have to cook that with lotta love. Same way with the roast chicken, I got this on for an hour and a half, two hours, and the same way slow perfect heat and them time now that the haul butane right dehdeh two hours dah just constant running. Again dah weh I seh yo cant run from it, yo just have to face it and I think this war has a lot to do with it. Dah just life mien.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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