Grand Cayman has seen a 30 cent average per gallon hike in the price of regular, unleaded gasoline sold by the two large petroleum importers since the beginning of April, according to figures provided by the territory’s utilities and commodities regulator.
In late March, average fuel prices were around CI$4.43 per gallon. By June 19, the average among the Rubis and Sol stations on Grand Cayman for the lowest priced unleaded fuel was up to CI$4.74 per gallon.
Those prices do not include fuel sold in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, which are much higher.
They also do not include fuel prices at new market competitor Refuel, which is operating in George Town and where prices are much lower.
Refuel prices were CI$4.29 per gallon for 87 octane fuel and CI$4.48 per gallon for 90 octane as of June 19, according to OfReg. Most Rubis and Sol stations sell 89 octane and 93 octane petrol.
The petrol figures for the two large distributors were hit with an average 13 cent per gallon price increase between June 5 and June 19, according to the regulator.
Most Esso stations saw a 15 cent per gallon price increase during the two weeks, and most Rubis stations experienced between a 10 cent and 15 cent per gallon increase.
Refuel was the only petrol station where prices went down over the period, dropping from CI$4.32 per gallon for 87 octane fuel on June 5, to CI$4.29 per gallon on June 19. The higher 90 octane fuel did increase from CI$4.44 per gallon to CI$4.48 per gallon at Refuel during the period.
A political dispute over high petrol prices during late 2014 and 2015 led to wholesale changes in how the Cayman fuel market is governed, including the introduction of OfReg as the regulator and new requirements for price reporting for Cayman’s two main fuel distributors.
In the U.S., prices at the pump have risen steadily since the beginning of the year, going from an average of US$2.53 (CI$2.08) per U.S. gallon (.83 imperial gallon) for regular unleaded on March 31 to US$2.87 average as of Wednesday. That is a 13 percent increase in average prices for regular unleaded in less than three months.
By comparison, Cayman’s per gallon price increase during the same period only represented a seven percent rise in average prices for regular, unleaded fuel at the pump.
Internationally, prices per barrel of Brent crude – a key international benchmark for oil prices – have risen steadily since July 2017, going from US$46 per barrel to US$69 per barrel in January 2018. Average Brent crude prices are now hovering around US$75 to US$76 per barrel.
Cayman fuel prices have not reached above CI$5 per gallon at the pump since the third quarter of 2014, when average prices for regular, unleaded gasoline reached CI$5.59 per gallon. Prices then fell to below $4 per gallon early in 2015.