Gas prices inch lower in Cayman

The price of gas and diesel in the Cayman Islands has come down a few cents during the past several days for the first time in months. 

Reason for the decrease: “A barrel of oil is now US$81 to US$82, down from US$105,” said Mr. Albert Hislop of the Savannah Texaco/Rubis, who explained that his prices would be going down by 20 per cent for regular gas, 15 per cent for premium gas and 20 per cent for diesel to CI$5.68, CI$5.77 
and CI$5.70, respectively.  

“Esso dropped theirs first and we just got notice that our prices are going today from Rubis,” Mr. Hislop said. He said some of the reason that prices in the Cayman Islands were so high as of late was because of the increase of 25 cents on duty for fuel, which was introduced by the government in 2010, bringing duty to 75 cents per imperial gallon of gas. 

Rubis assumed all control for Texaco gas stations in the Cayman Islands last November in a deal that included 174 stations across the Eastern Caribbean. Other islands included in the first round of purchases by Rubis include Antigua, Barbados, Grenada Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Guyana, St. Kitts, French Guyana, Martinique, Guadelope and Trinidad and Tobago. 

According to the Cayman Islands government’s Economics and Statistics Office Foreign Trade Statistics Report for 2011, there were 10.6 million imperial gallons of gas imported into the Cayman Islands, valued at $43,738,000. The report listed the cost of gas to suppliers, inclusive of freight and insurance, as $4.13. This is before duty, which is 75 cents per imperial gallon, meaning the total cost of gas for most gas stations to get gas to their tanks is roughly $4.88. According to figures on the Department of Planning’s website last updated on 25 June, the cost of gasoline ranged between $5.51 to $5.89 for regular gas and $5.92 to $5.99 for premium. Prices for diesel ranged from $5.57 to $5.97, according to the Planning Department’s website. 

Mr. Hislop said people were not aware of the true cost of doing business in the Cayman Islands and said the main reason gas would never reach the $4 mark again in the Cayman Islands was because of the 25 cent duty surcharge introduced in 2010. 

He added that, “The market in the Cayman Islands cannot be compared to the United States fairly because that country uses US gallons/3.79 litres, while the Cayman Islands market is based on imperial gallons/4.546 Litres.” 

pump attendant

A pump attendant at Texaco stands ready. – PHOTO: STUART WILSON
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7 COMMENTS

  1. It is almost criminal how these companies are robbing the people. They blame the high prices on a 25 cent duty that went into effect a year and a half ago? Gas prices in the US have dropped significantly (approximaltely a dollar a gallon) as the cost of a barrel of oil dropped from 105 to the current 82, but gas prices in Cayman have dropped only 20 cents, and they blame the high prices on a duty that’s been in effect for so long? It is a flagrant lie.

    There is a difference between the US gallon and the imperial gallon, but there is also a difference between the US dollar and the Cayman dollar. When Esso and Texaco but the gas from the US, they are paying the US dollar, and when they sell it to us they are selling it in CI, essentially making a 25% profit right off the bat on the currency conversion. That offsets the difference in gallon size.

    The only thing as criminal as what these businesses are doing to the people is that the government simply stands by and lets them price-fix. If I were the PPM and I wanted a good issue to campaign on, it would be that the current government has failed miserably in stopping the gas companies from price-fixing and profiteering on the backs of the public with excessive gas prices. If I were the UDP I’d get busy doing your job and protecting the public from these robbers so that the PPM doesn’t have such an easy and popular issue to use against you.

    I call on any of the MLAs, all of the politicians, to do SOMETHING about these high prices. The gas companies deserve to make a profit, but they are currently making approximately a dollar a gallon, which seems excessive, especially considering how high current prices are. MLAs – your job is to protect the people, not to turn a blind eye and throw stones at each other as the rich companies rob us blind!

    Editors — your article seems to be incomplete on facts. The obvious facts to incluse in this article would be what the price of gas in Cayman was the last time a barrel of oil was at US82, and to ask the follow-up question as to why prices differ now. If we add 25 cents to that, does it bring us to our current levels? Mr Hislop implies that this 25 cent duty is the cause of the expensive prices, but it seems very easy to disprove such a claim, as the cost of the 25 cent duty is exactly 25 cents. When gas was last 4/gallon in Cayman, what was the price of a barrel of oil then?

    Mr Hislop seems to be blaming the government and the 25 cent duty for the high gas prices. The 25 cent duty adds exactly 25 cents to the prices — I agree that the government is at fault, but only for failing to monitor and regulate these businesses as they fix prices at excessive levels and rob us blind.

    I would love to see the Compass follow up on this point. Equally helpful would be a graph plotting three statistics over the same time frame — cost of a barrell of oil, average price of a gallon of gas in the US, average price of a gallon of gass in Cayman (adjusted for the gallon and currency differences).

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  2. Yesterday the price of gas in Mississippi USA(on the 4th of July)was US2.98 per gallon. Since the Cayman dollar and the Cayman gallon are larger than the US by almost the same amount the price in Cayman should be about CI3.00. Mississippi excise tax is 18.4 cents, as is the US, for a total of 36.8 cents per gallon or 12.4% so you’re paying twice as much tax, but it is pretty clear that the distributors and retailers in Cayman are cooperating to maintain a huge profit margin. Keep in mind the US price includes everyone’s profit in the whole supply chain and it becomes evident that the Cayman supply chain is extracting an excess profit over 2.00 per gallon. Only cartels can do this. You do not have price competition.

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  3. Seems as though the other editorials are focusing on the dollar spread and the size of the gallon.

    Lets try a different perspective.

    Has anybody noticed that the price of gas jumps instantly yet the price does not go down until all the gas in the service stations tanks is gone. They seem to be quick to take advantage of the increase when the price of crude goes up.

    Its simple folks.

    These petrol stations are acting as a mini cartel. Why should they enter in a competition? Fools to do so.

    The profit margins are obviously out of whack for these businesses and if an investigation were done, it would be readily apparent that we are being screwed and there is very little foreplay prior to it.

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  4. I agree with Bubba’s comment about increases in the price of a barrel of oil appearing instantly in the price of gas, but decreases not appearing at all. That is why I suggest that the government needs some sort of regulation and oversight. These cartels (as others here call them) are not going to regulate themselves, and it is obvious they are free to take as much profit as they wish. They turn around and blame a 25 cent duty for the increase, when that is obviously not the cause.

    You would think government would WANT to get involved, first because the gas companies are falsely blaming them for the high prices, and second because it is THEIR JOB to protect the people, and they are failing miserably at it. It is shocking that neither the PPM nor the UDP has seized upon this issue, as it affects every single person living on this island, and it is a matter of common sense.

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  5. It’s really simple folks. Let’s pick one Gas Company .. say Texaco. Don’t even think about buying gas there during the next month. Their price will come down. And once it does, pump gas there and forget about Exxon. Their price will come down too …

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  6. So where is the joy for the -inch lower in prices-. The stations must be saying; We go up they complain, we go down they complain even harder..

    What an interesting idea: Takebacktherock; and quite a project, but doable with enough friends and family networking. Just kidding.. Tick tack tow.

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  7. As Quoted: A barrel of oil is now US81 to US82, down from US105, said Mr. Albert Hislop of the Savannah Texaco/Rubis, who explained that his prices would be going down by 20 per cent for regular gas, 15 per cent for premium gas and 20 per cent for diesel to CI5.68, CI5.77 and CI5.70, respectively…
    Yes the cost of oil has gone down 20 PERCENT and if they actually lowered the price 20 PERCENT as stated it would be nice (regular would be 4.70) as opposed to only 20 CENTS per gallon to 5.68. What a ripoff

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