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GOB holds diesel price steady

The government announced today that the "regulated pump price of diesel remains at $13.41 per gallon in Belize."

The Ministry of Finance, via a press release, explained that the government has reduced the levies charged on the fuel product by 76 cents in an effort to keep the price steady. The reduced levies are in addition to "an earlier reduction in taxes of $1.17 that took effect on March 12, 2022. Thus, the total reduction in taxes on diesel this month now stands at 1.93 per gallon," the ministry informed.

The government's release also informed that a statutory instrument to effectuate the aforementioned reduction as of April 1st will be issued soon.

The ministry's release concluded by referencing the international shocks that have influenced the upsurge in prices. "Countries all of the world are enduring fuel price surges as a direct consequence of Russia's invasion of Ukraine," the government said. "Though future prices are impossible to predict, the Government of Belize continues to examine all viable policy options for minimizing the fuel price shocks, balancing as best as possible between the twin demands of affordable pump prices and national budgetary requirements."

Energy sector analysts, according to international media reports, have started to refer to the ongoing situation as a "diesel crisis." International reports point to a potential diesel shortage as the cause of the surging prices for the fuel product that has traditionally been cheaper than premium and regular gasoline.

Oil analyst, Matt Smith, speaking recently CNBC, said, "When you're seeing crude rallying, you've seen diesel outpacing it just because of supply concerns. We're already at eight-year lows for distillate inventories. So what you're really seeing is while everyone is focused on the crude side of things, prices have really been pushing on because Europe is short diesel and it has to import a lot of diesel, whereas it exports gasoline. While there's obviously concerns about the crude side of the picture, ultimately diesel is what the end-user needs."

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