Average fuel prices on Grand Cayman last week fell below the $4 per gallon mark for the first time in more than two years, according to data provided by the Cayman Islands Petroleum Inspectorate.
The average price per gallon of regular, unleaded self-serve gasoline was $3.93 on Jan. 8.
The petrol price drop will not only affect drivers filling up their vehicles, but also residents paying to turn on their lights and run the air conditioning in their homes.
The average price of diesel fuel per gallon fell even more than the average price of unleaded gasoline, to $3.90 per gallon as of Jan. 8, the inspectorate reported.
In addition to the price drop, a government-agreed reduction in stamp duty on diesel fuel imports for Caribbean Utilities Company took effect this month. The previous rate of 50 cents per gallon imported was lowered to 25 cents at the start of the year. The import duty rate charged to CUC has been lowered from 75 cents per gallon since late 2014.
Even without the additional duty reduction and considering higher per gallon prices for diesel fuel, CUC reported a significant drop in consumer prices as of its last quarterly report in the fall of 2015.
The utilities company reported in November that it was paying 37 percent less for fuel than it did at the same time in 2014. Customers, in turn, had seen their charges per kilowatt hour drop from 28 cents to 19 cents.
CUC typically passes on fuel-related costs for electricity generation to customers with a two-month “lag” in price.
A sharp overall drop in consumer prices recorded in the first half of 2015 was also mainly attributed to declining fuel prices.
Finance Minister Marco Archer said Cayman had recorded a more than 25 percent drop in the cost of electricity and gas through mid-2015 and a drop in transportation costs of 7.6 percent through the first half of the year, the latest data available.
The fuel price drop that sent average gasoline prices well below $4 per gallon by early January began just prior to Christmas.
It was the first time any local fuel stations had displayed prices below $4 per gallon since March 2015, previously the lowest point local fuel prices had reached in at least two years.
The average prices below $4 per gallon reached all around Grand Cayman, from the highest for regular unleaded in North Side district at $3.98 per gallon to the lowest, $3.90 per gallon in George Town at Jose’s Rubis station.
Prices per gallon on Cayman Brac were hovering around $4.50 per gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. On Little Cayman, prices were steady at $5.74 per gallon.
The U.S. national average per gallon for regular, unleaded gasoline was just below US$1.97 on Monday.
The International fuel benchmark, Brent crude (US$32.68 per barrel) reached its lowest price since the 2008 financial crisis.