Butane increase set for March

By Benjamin Flowers
Staff Reporter

The government of Belize and the companies importing butane, Z Gas, Gas Tomza and Belize Western Energy Limited, have agreed to one more price increase for butane in 2018, due under new terms in March.

Director of the Belize Bureau of Standards, Jose Trejo, explained that GOB and the importers will meet in the upcoming months to revise the formula used for calculating the price of butane for household use. The new formula will take into account external factors such as import cost, and guide how much the price will go up at the end of March.

That price will remain up until March 2019, when GOB and the importers will implement a new price after analyzing how the last increase worked, along with other external factors. Trejo went on to say the GOB is still considering amending legislation to regulate the whole sale price of butane, just as it regulates the price per 100 pound cylinder sold at retail.

The supply of butane came close to being cut last week, after importers told their distributors to ration the sale of butane while they negotiated with the government. The importers were seeking a price increase of $1.25 per gallon of butane, which would have sent the average household cost from the 100 pound cylinder go from $97 to $128 in Belize City alone.

During the negotiations, GOB agreed to give importers a 32 cent increase on Saturday January 13. The increase amounted to a 47 increase on the price of the 100 pound cylinder; however, importers were dissatisfied and decided to charge distributors the $1.25 extra.

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