Gas prices up again; regular over $10 a gallon

By Benjamin Flowers
Staff Reporter

This week, the cost of a gallon of fuel received its sixth price change in four months, sending regular fuel to over $10 a gallon.
The price change became effective on Thursday, sending regular gasoline up by 31 cents from $9.87 to $10.18 a gallon.

Some consumers got a little relief since the price of diesel and premium gasoline went down. Diesel prices fell by 42 cents, from 9.38, to $8.96, while premium gasoline fell from $11.04 to $10.53, a difference of 51 cents.

The uneven fluctuations of fuel prices began in February, with the first price increases, and the country has seen some form of adjustment in the price of fuel every month since then. Between the month of March and April, gas prices changed three times in less than 30 days.

The price of gasoline has been rising for two major reasons. The first is an increase in the cost, insurance and freight (CIF), also known as acquisition costs, that importers have to pay for fuel. The other is to make up for shortfalls in the government’s national budget.

Earlier in the year, many international financial firms predicted that drivers in countries all over the world would start seeing higher pump prices, as the price per barrel for oil begins to rise after a decrease in market availability.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced in late 2016 that it would scale back oil production, effectively reducing market supply and increasing demand. The move does offer some economic benefit for Belize, as the country has been able to get a better price for dwindling oil exports.

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