World fuel prices are at an 11-year low, but why is it that fuel pump prices in Belize went up at midnight on Monday, December 28, 2015? Well it is not because Belize is purchasing fuel at higher prices, but government says it has increased on import duties on fuel products.
In a press release issued at the beginning of the week, the Government said that it needs to increase taxes on fuel products in order to pay its bills.
Premium went up by 8% - 72 cents per gallon
Regular went up by 13% - 97 cents
Diesel went up by 13% - 81 cents
A government release says "the Import Duties on Premium Gasoline and Diesel Oil increased by 65 cents Belize per U.S. Gallon while the Import Duty on Regular Gasoline increased by 57 cents Belize per U.S. Gallon."
The combined effect of this increase and of the CIF Price Changes associated with the December 28th fuel shipment resulted in new Pump Prices per gallon (in Belize City) as follows:
Premium Gasoline - $9.30 per US Gallon
Regular Gasoline - $8.52 per US Gallon
Diesel Oil - $7.00 per US Gallon
Government says this increase has become necessary as a fiscal consolidation measure to strengthen public finances at the start of the new 2016 calendar year and also to compensate for the decline in revenues linked to the decline in domestic crude oil production.
It is anticipated that in the coming weeks the C.I.F. prices of imported fuel products will decline significantly in step with declining world oil prices and that pump prices will stabilize at a point below $9.00 and $8.00 per gallon mark for Premium and Regular Gasoline respectively and below $6.50 per gallon for Diesel Oil.
UPDATE: Shortly after receiving the press release from government of increased fuel pump prices, another release was issued stating a decrease on pump prices but only for Regular Gasoline and Kerosene. Press Release Below:
Decrease In Pump Prices For Regular Gasoline And Kerosene
The Ministry of Finance hereby informs the general public that, with the arrival of another shipment of fuel over the weekend, the Pump Prices for Regular Gasoline and Kerosene will fall substantially as a result of lower CIF Prices.
This shipment was comprised of Regular Gasoline and Kerosene only. Effective on midnight 29th December, 2015 the new Pump Prices in Belize City are as follows:
*Regular Gasoline - $8.30 per US Gallon – a decrease of 32 cents per gallon
*Kerosene - $4.48 per US Gallon - a decrease of 10 cent per gallon
Import Duties and other taxes on both products remain unchanged.
In San Pedro prices are higher than the rest of the country due to shipping costs:
Regular Gasoline - $8.61
Diesel - $7.41
The Ministry of Finance further advises the general public that all future reductions in the CIF Prices of these fuel products will be passed on directly to the price at the pump and that it also intends to maintain the current level of duties and taxes without change on these products.