21 de Feb de 2020

Nacional

Call for removal of price controls

Augusto Gerbaud, General Manager of Delta Petroleum, said that in the past small garages, that bought relative low quantities of fuel, e...

Augusto Gerbaud, General Manager of Delta Petroleum, said that in the past small garages, that bought relative low quantities of fuel, especially in the interior, used to increase the price of the gallon of gasoline and diesel four or five cents, which was sufficient for them to survive and continue to serve the community.

“Currently they are barely breaking even and so far two have come back to us saying that they want to cancel the franchise. These garages were located in Veraguas and the central provinces,” said Gerbaud.

“If the government allowed more competition, then we are pretty sure that the consumer would be happy to pay an extra five cents for the convenience of having a garage close to their farm,” added Gerbaud.

“However we are continuing to have conversations with the authorities and the current system of fixing fuel prices appears to be working so far,” said the Delta Manager.

Gerbaud also forecasted that the gasoline prices will go up again, but diesel will go down. ”The government is going to announce the new fuel prices.

on Thursday and the gasoline of 91 octane price could increase 10 cents, the 95 octane could go up 15 to 16 cents and diesel could go down three cents.”

This is the third time the fuel prices have risen in the last six week, after 14 weeks of relatively stability.

The president of the Hydrocarbon committee of PanAMcham and general manger of Esso Standard Oil S.A. Limited, Eyda Varela de Chinchilla said that the prices are going up, because the government takes the American oil prices of 14 days ago, not reflecting the current cost of it and that is why although the oil prices are down the fuel costs are going up in Panama.

Explaining the parity prices Chinchilla said that the costs of fuel is going up because the distributors companies have to buy oil products abroad at a higher value due to problems in the Middle East, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries OPEC reducing the oil production and other external factors.

Chinchilla said that if distributors buy gasoline and diesel at low prices from their suppliers, then the consumer will have to shell out less money at the pumps, because the so called parity element is a small percentage in comparison with the payable price to suppliers.

Commenting about if the price of fuel is going to continue to go up, Jorge Usuago General Manager of Terpel Panama, representing Accel, said that it was impossible to know what is going to happen in the future, especially taking into account the current global financial crisis, which in turn has lowered the demand for fuel around the world, so nobody could answer with certainty.