Gas price fall not enough, says activist

| 24/12/2015 | 36 Comments
Cayman News Service

Gas price protest march, 14 October 2015

(CNS): The cut in the pump price of fuel to just under $4 at some local gas stations is not enough, local activists said as they announced plans to pump up the pressure on government to in turn press the two bulk fuel importers to cut prices by much more. George Ebanks, the spokesperson for Cayman Is Fed Up With High Gas Prices, said that, given the basic import price that was revealed in the latest quarterly statistics, fuel at the pump should be much closer to $3 than $4 per gallon.

With the global oil price falling to new lows again recently and some pumps in the USA selling gas for less than US$2, the stubbornly high prices at some pumps in Cayman continue to cause frustration for the travelling public, and regardless of the promised government intervention with amendments to the dangerous substances law, Ebanks says the small decreases in retail prices are insufficient.

“While the price reductions are a welcomed Christmas present of sorts, the committee … is still not satisfied with these small unit price reductions,” he said. “Based on information, as revealed in the Cayman Islands’ Semi-Annual Economic Report issued in October 2015 showing that landed costs of all fuels imported into the Islands as at June 2015 had an underlying cost of $2.01 per gallon, the committee is adamant in its displeasure with these miniscule price reductions.”

Promising to step things up in the New Year, Ebanks, who delivered a petition to government earlier this year urging it to step up its efforts to address the issue, said the committee would not give up until the country sees fuel prices reflective of the actual historically low global oil price within the first quarter of next year.

Ebanks claimed that regular gasoline should be priced at CI$3.10 per gallon for regular, CI$3.50 for premium and diesel at CI$2.89 per gallon.

“These unit prices would still preserve a comfortable 64% margin for the fuel importers and ensure their overall profitability,” he said.

The fuel importers have a different perspective, however, and in an advertising campaign over the last few months, Rubis has published information about the cost of fuel and the price in Cayman compared to other Caribbean islands, rather than the US.  They point out that average fuel prices in Cayman are some of the lowest in the region and that the way fuel is carried here and the consumption levels influence the prices. They also noted that while the duty rate has been cut on fuel sold to CUC, the fuel bought at the pump is still taxed at 85 cents per imperial gallon.

See latest fuel prices from the Petroleum Inspectorate below:

Fuel prices Esso


Fuel prices Rubis






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Comments (36)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Ironically enough, I seem to have noticed a convenient increase of grocery prices just before the Christmas/New Years Holidays when we have peek tourist season on Island. One would have thought import prices would decrease due to the reduced oil cost.

    But I guess in Cayman you rip off people since you can get away with it without any consequence whatsoever. While I have no choice but buy groceries locally, trust me that I will do anything and everything to avoid buying anything else locally, like all the Christmas gifts I ordered online along with my TV that just broke in the last few days!

  2. Jotnar says:

    Someone buy George Ebanks a calculator for Christmas. If the landed price is $2 and there is 85 cents duty then $3.1 does not equal 64% margin.

  3. Anonymous says:

    falling oil prices should lead to the reduction of most items brought to cayman….have you noticed any reduction in groceries????…of course not….

  4. Anonymous says:

    The fuel terminal has to be paid for some how and its your backs that will pay.
    Do you people think the fuel line and its leaks are Free? And the proposed fuel terminal will be free also?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Brac gas prices are a rip-off

    • Anonymous says:

      What’s wrong with the gas stations making a profit? If you can sell gas cheaper then start your own station.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why are gas prices more in Cayman Brac than in Grand? I saw in the news that the taxes are less in Cayman Brac.

  6. Anonymous says:

    When is the next “Losers United Against Things Being More Expensive Than We Would Like” march?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Need to do another protest and have people show up in cars and busses after work or weekend at Premiers house . No one can come when they have work to do.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Prices are not that high and certainly not high enough to merit government intervention.

  9. Sharkey says:

    6:35 am, that is because when you start a job, never quit until it’s done/finished . If the 14,000 people who SIGNED the petition had showed their face to Mr Tibbetts he would have done something in his pants or in the LA.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Personally I find the price quite reasonable. But my points of reference are wider than just the US and I understand economies of scale and how oligopolies work.

  11. Sharkey says:

    Look at the price chart above, some place charge 4 cents and the other 5 cents per gallon if the employee pumps it, shows you the kind of prices are going on in the gas stations .

  12. Anonymous says:

    When we did the “MARCH” and handed in the petition to government,if you listened to Kirk Tibbetts that day you could have sworn that fire and brimstone was coming to the oil companies in a short time. What a deafening silence , never heard anything since that day. The oil companies took a few cents off a galleon of oil and never heard anything since, that was it!!!!! That is the action of the POOR PEOPLE MOVEMENT

    • Anonymous says:

      And what did the utterly destructive party do about gas prices when your hero was premier, aside from increasing the duty on fuel that is?

  13. Anonymous says:

    When will this country drop these prices?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Rubis and Sol are making a least $1 per gallon of fuel imported into this country, that is over $100 million dollars a year profit, that is unreasonable unconscionable profit for two small operations to be making.
    The fact that this is happening and that it has been going on for years leads me to the conclusion that some powerful person or group of persons who are Caymanian are benefiting richly from this arrangement.
    This is a major strain on the economy and the main reason the cost of living is so high in Cayman and it must be stopped.

    Polititions, DO YOUR JOBS.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Ebanks and his fellow advocates are correct. Based on the price of a barrel of oil at the moment, even factoring in the duty rates, shipping, and Imperial gallons, there is no way we should be paying more than about $3 per gallon at the moment.

  16. Musk Iddah says:

    The cost of living in Cayman is so ridiculously high. The politicians are to blame. They make the rules. Look no further.

  17. Anonymous says:

    One has to remember that Cayman continues to have ” full service pumps ” at every gas station. These guys neeto be paid for so whilst not all the reason for high prices, it accounts for some of it. I would suggest the people behind the petition encourage people to get out of their cars and pump their own gas, then full service pumps would maybe become a thing of the past.

    But I would expect that no local is gonna get off their fat backside and pump their own gas so if that’s the case I’d shut up and suck it up

  18. Anonymous says:

    That photo managed to get almost the whole protest into shot. Was it a wide angled lens?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t they check other countries who buy gas from the tanker that delivers fuel here, I’m sure they’re not coming here only. Bracka

  20. Okaay… If the protesters in the streets can persuade merchants to lower their margins, good for them. Individual merchants can and will always go out of business if they aren’t making enough profit to compensate for their risk-taking; that’s how a free-enterprise system works. But let’s be careful not to get government (politicians or senior bureaucrats) involved in the fixing of retail prices. If that ever happens here, empty shelves will become part of our way of life.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gordon Barlow,

      “As the Catholic conservatives” like Francis want to conserve harmonious social relation and a christian understanding of economic justice, just as they want to conserve what the church takes to be traditional family values.

      Free-market capitalism in contrast, is all about change: the change that comes when massive retail chains undermine family shops, when agri-businesses destroy small farms, and when financial consultants, “downsize” a corporation and wipe out a community’s economic foundation.

      Does this sound familiar?

      The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In a system, which tends to devour everything that stands in the way of increased profit whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interest of a deified market, which become the only rule.

      The 2%…wouldn’t you say?

      Free-market was created and promoted to rip off the other 92%

  21. Cass says:

    It’s much too high, that is a fact. So are groceries and so is CUC!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yet the objective measure of the cost of living – the Consumer Price Index, has declined for the past three quarters to an aggregate of nearly 4%. That means the cost of living is, contrary to what seems to be popular opinion, generally going down rather than up!

      • Anonymous says:

        Remember it is the government that collects these statistics…the PPM government..there isn’t a chance in hell we are not going to be in a “sweet spot”

    • Anonymous says:

      Not sure if its customer appreciation time or our Christmas present.

    • Cheese Face says:

      Don’t forget taxis, or house insurance.

    • Sharkey says:

      We would have not got that little drop in price if it was not for the petition and the march/ protest. Government didn’t do anything about high gas prices before .

    • Sharkey says:

      We would not have got the little drop in high gas prices if was not for the petition and the march / protest . Government didn’t do anything before.

    • Anonymous says:

      Waiting to see what the government is going to have in place for JANUARY 2016!!! Why should it take a year to have the proper pricing in place? Wake up, and stop the hemorrhage, we want lower prices now. .

    • Anonymous says:

      A decent rule of thumb on the internet is that when some states something is a “fact”, it is usually simply an opinion expressed without analysis. This is an example of this phenomenon.

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