Gas prices going up

Gas prices are on the rise again.

Consumers can expect to see gas prices increase at the pumps in the Cayman Islands by as much as 14 cents at some service stations this week.

Oil prices continued to increase to well above $59 a barrel Tuesday. Gasoline prices went up 16 cents per gallon in the US last week alone.

At some Esso service stations on Grand Cayman they were planning on putting prices up by around 14 cents on gasoline.

Dealer at Esso on Shedden Road Lisa Kandler said they were preparing to increase their gas prices Tuesday after they got their new delivery. They had no plans to raise prices on diesel.

‘This is the first increase we’ve done on gas for months,’ she said.

Country Manager for Esso Ltd Alan Neesome admitted that consumers can expect to see prices at the pump go up as Esso increased their wholesale prices to dealers as a result of their latest shipment on 7 May, for which they had to pay a higher price. However, he declined to say how much Esso had raised its wholesale price to dealers.

Before the price hike Tuesday, full serve prices at the Esso Shedden Road station were: $3.04 for high grade gas, $2.94 for the lower grade, and $3.39 for diesel. The increase would see gas prices go up to $3.18 and $3.08.

The Esso Tiger Market on West Bay Road was preparing to raise its prices by 14 cents today. This would see their higher grade gas go from $3.05 to $3.19 and their lower grade go from $2.95 to $3.09.

Nobody could be reached for comment at Texaco (Chevron) Ltd. by press time.

Staff at a couple of Texaco stations said they had raised gas prices a couple of weeks ago.

At Eastern Avenue Texaco, staff member Orna Kelly said prices had gone up a couple of weeks ago by 3 cents a gallon on low grade gas; five cents a gallon on higher grade gas; and five cents a gallon on diesel. Their prices currently stand at $2.96, $3.06 and $3.35 for diesel. The staff member could not say whether another price hike was imminent.

Mr. Neesome said Esso Ltd. have had three recent shipments.

‘On the last three shipments, the prices have been going up, but we only received gasoline on two out of those three shipments.’

The previous shipment of gasoline prior to last week’s was in early April, when wholesale prices increased slightly. The next shipment will come within the next three weeks, he said.

In the past six to eight weeks prices have been steadily going up, he said.

‘Crude oil prices are at their highest since November of last year.’

He explained that crude oil inventories and gasoline and diesel inventories are probably close to the highest in quite a while, and demand is fairly low.

But crude oil prices are following equity prices rather than supply and demand, he said.

Higher fuel prices will also mean higher electricity prices as Cayman heads into the hot, summer months. However, there is a two-month lag between the time CUC pays higher prices for fuel for its generators and when it adds a high fuel factor to customers’ bills.