Gas price volatility lingers

There are no present indications that the current market volatility surrounding higher gas prices will disappear anytime soon.

This is according to Esso Ltd’s Country Manager Alan Neesome.

Gas prices in Grand Cayman have soared recently and, as of Tuesday this week, ranged from $4.36 per imperial gallon right up to $4.73 at various gas stations for full serve premium gas.

Texaco and Esso dealers here are supplied by their respective distributors at wholesale prices and then are free to mark up their own prices at the pump.

‘Esso does not set the prices at the pump and the current wholesale pricing to the dealers and Esso bulk customers is a result of international pricing of crude and finished products (e.g. gasoline and diesel) being higher on the international market,’ Mr. Neesome said.

Addressing average pump pricing in the Caribbean, he said: ‘Grand Cayman is not the highest’. ‘Pump pricing in Bermuda, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Barbados, Bahamas, Haiti and the countries in the Eastern Caribbean are either much higher, just above or about the same as here. The first five countries mentioned all have pricing regulation with pricing set by the respective Governments.’

Mr. Neesome went on to say that comparing Cayman pump pricing with the USA is not a fair comparison to make as the fuel supply and distribution logistics are totally different.

‘Pricing on the international market is volatile and changes, sometimes large, may occur from day to day as there are many factors that affect pricing. Any one of these factors can greatly affect the market, e.g. supply and demand, international crises, speculation, refinery outages and political factors.’

Diesel has also risen locally in recent months. It cost as much as $4.37 a gallon on Grand Cayman as of Tuesday.

‘Just like crude, the price of finished product varies on the international market subject to market forces which are numerous and can be volatile,’ said Mr. Neesome.