While gas prices are lower on the Sister Islands than Grand Cayman, costs have been rising at the same rate in the three islands, affected by the upward trend in fuel prices internationally.
This is according to Retail District Manager for Chevron Texaco Armando Vegas who made a rough estimate that, as of last week, gas supplied by Chevron Texaco to the three islands had risen roughly over 40 cents this year (wholesale).
As of last week premium gasoline was available for $4.25 on Cayman Brac and $4.20 on Little Cayman.
Top prices for premium gasoline last week on Grand Cayman were as high as $4.73 for full serve premium gas, going from $4.33 for self serve.
Chevron Texaco is the sole supplier of fuels to the Sister Islands, through the terminal in Cayman Brac, while Texaco and Esso Ltd. both serve Grand Cayman.
For full serve premium gas at City Motors on Cayman Brac it is $4.25 per (Imperial) gallon.
At Tib-Mart on Cayman Brac it is $4.25 for regular gasoline full service.
At Little Cayman’s Village Square gas costs $4.20 for self serve premium.
The gasoline wholesale price is lower in the Sister Islands than in Grand Cayman, explained Mr. Vegas, although he would not give any figures.
The main reason for the lower price, said Mr. Vegas, is the fact that import duty on gasoline in the Sister Islands is 75 per cent lower than the gas coming into Grand Cayman.
However, there are some extra costs in the Sisters because of the extra freight from Cayman Brac to Little Cayman and because of the stop at the Brac.
The wholesale prices are lessened by the difference in duty, but this difference gets a little less when the extra freight costs are factored in, said Mr. Vegas.
Duty on gas for Grand Cayman is 50 cents per (Imperial) gallon, and, at 75 per cent less, it would make duty for gasoline on the Sister Islands 12.5 cents a gallon.
This would create a natural cost difference of 37.5 cents, but the gap does close a little with the extra freight costs.
Mr. Vegas noted that one of the main reasons for such a hike in prices has been the fact that countries like China and India are growing so fast. ‘Supply can’t keep up with demand. Everyone wants to buy fuel,’ he said.
Duty on diesel is the same for all islands, at 60 cents per gallon.
At City Motors on Cayman Brac diesel was $4.40 per gallon as of last week.
On Little Cayman diesel at Sam McCoy’s Lodge is at $4.65, set at an old price from six months ago.
On Grand Cayman, last week the highest price found out of a random selection of stations was $4.37, with the average cost of diesel from five stations at just over $4.
According to Mr. Vegas, the distribution process for fuel to Cayman Brac is similar to Grand Cayman. The same ship that delivers product in Grand Cayman stops at Cayman Brac and delivers fuel to the terminal there which it made a big investment in about 15 years ago.
Gas and diesel are dispensed in imperial gallons on all three islands.
When asked if the gas marked on the dispenser, is guaranteed to actually be what comes out of a particular dispenser, Mr. Vegas said that their plus and premium gasolines are different grades and they are delivered to the various gas stations as different grades. ‘That’s what we deliver and we try to make sure our dealers do the right thing,’ he said.
Each tank has one independent line that goes to the dispenser. ‘Those product lines go in the right tanks,’ he said.
Quality checks are also done on the fuels as they arrive on the islands.