By Javan Flowers
The new controlled prices for the wholesale and retail of LPG saw an increase of 9% and 7%, respectively, as detailed in a release issued by the Supplies Control Unit (SCU) in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise.
Notably, the wholesale price, which was BZ$4.83 as of February 17th, has risen almost 9%, reaching BZ$5.25. Similarly, the retail (urban) cost of LPG saw a 7% increase rising from BZ$6.43 to BZ$6.85, while the retail (rural) cost rose from BZ$6.53 to BZ$6.95.
The government release explains that "the prices reflect an increase of BZ$0.42 per gallon for the current shipment." It also adds that the uptick in price is a consequence of an increase in propane's acquisition price.
While there are numerous factors responsible for the rise in LPG and fuel, the driving force remains the conflict in Eastern Europe between Ukraine and Russia.
In an interview with The Reporter, Daniel Gutierez, energy-industry contributor, predicted that if Russian energy—which accounts for eleven percent of global supply—is taken off the world market, oil and gas would see an enormous price increase. By extension, all their derivatives, including Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), diesel, jet fuel, kerosene, and others, can likewise be impacted.
He further explained that since we import approximately half of our electricity from Mexico through Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) and their manufacturing process requires fossil fuels, Belizeans can expect the cost of electricity to go up.
Other industries that could be affected include the agricultural sector, as fertilizer requires natural gas, specifically methane, to complete its manufacturing process.