Business / Weekend News

Big drop in butane prices

By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter

The price of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) both imported and domestic has dropped by over $10 per 100 lb cylinder, marking its first decrease since 2013.

The Belize Bureau of Standards announced a $13 reduction on LPG imported from PEMEX in Mexico and $16 from Central America, effective from May 8.

Punta Gorda, which had the highest retail price for gas countrywide, benefited most from the price drop, which adjusted the cost from $133 to $120. Belize City and Corozal now enjoy the lowest price for imported gas in the country at $115 per 100 lb cylinder.

LPG from Belize Natural Energy is now priced at $108 per 100 lb and this is available in Burrell Boom, San Ignacio, Belmopan, Benque Viejo Del Carmen and Punta Gorda.

José Trejo, director of the Bureau of Standards, explained that the new controlled prices are based on the mixtures ratio of 60:40 propane to butane from Pemex, and 90:10 propane to butane from Central America. He also noted that the cost of propane is decreasing due to weather changes. Butane remains unchanged, making it more costly than propane, with prices of US$52.92, as opposed to Propane’s US$44.52.

Belize Gas Limited and Western Gas Company Limited import from PEMEX, while Belize Western Energy Limited, Southern Choice Butane or Zeta Gas, and Gas Tomza Limited import from Central America.

The government has requested of suppliers to provide LPG at the 60:40 propane to butane ratio, but this consistency has proven difficult to maintain due to the different sources of importation. Earlier this year the Ministry of Trade began working on an agreement with Mexico to become an importer of LPG.

Prior to this reduction, the price of LPG had increased three times within the first three months of 2014.

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