The average price of regular, unleaded self-service gasoline on Grand Cayman has fallen by an average of 20 cents per gallon in the past month, according to the local oil and gas regulatory agency.
Data posted on the Cayman Islands Petroleum Inspectorate website put the average price per gallon for regular unleaded fuel on Grand Cayman at $5.39 per gallon as of Nov. 28, the latest data available.
On Oct. 24, the inspectorate indicated the average price per gallon for the same fuel was $5.59 per gallon.
The prices collated by the Cayman Compass to calculate the average fuel price per gallon do not include stations on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, where the cost is always considerably higher. As of Nov. 28, price per gallon for unleaded regular on Cayman Brac was $5.75 per gallon. On Little Cayman, it was listed at $6.49 per gallon. Those prices had not changed since October.
Although prices at the pump on Grand Cayman fell by an average of 20 cents per gallon, the drop was still much more conservative than that seen in the United States over the same period.
The average price of unleaded regular gasoline in the U.S. on Dec. 3 was US$2.75 per gallon (about CI$2.25).
According to data compiled by the American Automobile Association, the U.S. national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas sold at retail stations peaked sometime in June at US$3.67. Since then, the national average retail price has steadily dipped, falling by 92 cents in less than six months.
Local petroleum distributors have said fuel prices in Grand Cayman cannot be fairly compared with the U.S. for a myriad of reasons.
“The USA is a macro market with totally different supply logistics, vast fuel resources, huge fuel storage capacity, a network of pipelines from the refineries to the distribution points, and trucking fleets which deliver fuel 24 hours per day, 365 days per year,” said Sol Petroleum’s Alan Neesome. “The USA’s scale of operations provide efficiencies in fuel distribution that Cayman does not obtain as we have much higher unit infrastructural and operational costs which result in higher prices to consumers than in the U.S.”
Mr. Neesome added that Sol Petroleum usually receives fuel shipments about every four weeks and that cargo received may have loaded on the supply ship several weeks before arriving in Cayman. This delay creates a lag in pricing compared to current international prices, he said.
On Nov. 7, the Compass reported that prices at U.S. gas stations had dropped about 51 cents since August, while prices at Cayman stations during the same period fell an average of three cents per gallon of regular unleaded.
A number of service station owners maintained at the time of the Nov. 7 article that they were unable to lower prices at the pump because they were still being charged the same wholesale rates by petroleum distributors Esso and Sol as had existed in August.