Local pump prices stick as oil costs tumble

| 18/01/2016 | 57 Comments
Cayman News Service

A photo from B Bartlett and shared by GasBuddy shows gas at $.47 per gallon at a gas station in Houghton Lake, Mich.

(CNS): As the price of a barrel of oil fell below $28 Monday before making a fractional recovery in trading, and the price of gas dropped to just 47 cents per gallon at one station in Michigan on Sunday, prices in Cayman were still in many places over $4 per gallon. The issue of fuel costs remains a controversial one locally — as world prices fall to record lows, the pumps in Cayman remain stubbornly high in comparison.

The government has implemented a new law that deals with dangerous substances which has introduced an obligation by the bulk importers here to justify their pricing structure. This was expected to lead to more transparency and fairer prices but so far there has been almost no impact.

Rubis recently engaged in a campaign to explain the issues that affect prices, which made comparisons to other regional jurisdictions that it claimed were more realistic than comparing pump prices in Cayman to those in the United States, where at present in Virginia, drivers are paying as little as US$1:30/gallon.

However, local activists are not impressed by the justifications and claim that the two companies that supply Cayman with fuel are price gouging and not engaging in fair competition.

The government has said that the requirements under the new law will allow it to get to the truth of whether there is any collusion over pricing and whether prices represent the costs of importation and only a small markup, as claimed. But concerns continue that several months after the law was passed in the LA and a petition with more than 14,000 signatures was delivered there asking government to make this issue priority, little has changed.

On Monday local gas stations were still charging close to $4 per gallon for the cheapest fuel. George Ebanks, who is spearheading the campaign to bring prices down, told CNS that with global oil prices at 13 year lows, “it is indeed a real mystery why gasoline fuel prices in Cayman continue to be stuck at CI$4 a gallon, which is totally unacceptable and reflects prices based on oil being at $100 a barrel.”

Ebanks said that the group Cayman Is Fed Up with High Gas Prices‎ would be meeting with Kurt Tibbetts, the minister with responsibility for the issue, some time this week.

“The meeting will enable the group to get an update from government as to what they are currently doing,” he said.

The activist group also has plans to act themselves if government doesn’t address “what can only be described as price gouging on the part of our two existing fuel importers”, Ebanks said, pointing to plans for another march next month to raise awareness if government doesn’t get results and pressure the bulk fuel suppliers to cut their prices significantly.

“Falling oil prices is estimated to inject some $100 billion dollars into the US economy this year by way of savings to consumers, while we in the Cayman Islands are still being held hostage by our importers,” he told CNS.

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Comments (57)

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  1. Anonympus says:

    So CuC is paying 2.15 per gallon for diesel but the fuel stations are selling it to us for $3.85. Even at $2.15 STOLE and Rubish is still making huge profits.PPM now that you pass the law do something about these high prices. May 2017 coming?

  2. Anonymous says:

    For such a small place I really do not see what the problem is. No-one has to drive long distances and no-one is forced to buy big trucks. Of course prices are going to be higher than in the US for many reasons, and the price at the pump is not disproportionate.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Please remember in May 2017 when you go to the polls that Kurt Tibbetts = High gas prices.

  4. Sharkey says:

    From the time I could remember which is a very long time ago , Caymanians would always complain about things , but would not take action to cure the problem, and the politicians and business owners see that and know that , so don’t look for any drop in gasoline prices unless you prepare to sign your name and back it up with your face in protest to show them that Caymanians have changed and this is the 21st century.

  5. Sick of it says:

    Look into who owns the new gas station in redbay!
    Look into who owns the jerk chicken stand down the road and that’s just the truck driver for the oil company.
    1% of the fuel that comes on island goes missing and that just the tip of it!

  6. Help us now. says:

    I live on Cayman Brac, Gas here is $4.50 CID per gallon. That’s $5.49 USD per Gallon. I was in one of the food stores today, and a half gallon of vitamin D organic milk is selling for $8.79 CID that’s $10.72 in USD (that’s half gallon). This means a Gallon of vitamin D organic milk sold here on Cayman Brac is $17.58 CID, that’s $21.44 USD for 1 gallon of MILK. So I checked online right there in the store for the same vitamin D organic milk sold by the gallon in the US, and it’s average retail sale price is $6.00 USD in the US. Non- Organic Vitamin D milk sells for less that $3.00 per gallon in the US. This may sound unbelievable but it’s true that Market Place is selling this milk for $21.44 a gallon. I ask the store owners why this milk was so expensive, they told me it was due to high fuel prices… I said really, you are kidding me, right? I then told them that I had just checked online, and that the price of oil per barrel was down to a record low of $28.00 a barrel, as of this morning, and oil per barrel is still plunging with yet to find a bottom price.

    Most everything in most stores here on the Brac has either doubled or tripled in some cases, in price. As oil per barrel plunges lower is prices OUR commodities have plunged higher in prices. Little Cayman’s public is worse off than the Brac as far as prices..

    It’s called price gouging folks, and we all are being ripped off, as we all know, we have eat, and we all have drive to get to work, and to these rip-off stores to buy their high prices foods in order to live. Price gouging is something that our Government needs to look into NOW, not next week, or next month, or next year. NOW! We the people put them in Government to help control things that get out of hand. Well, prices have gone though the roof, and we the people can’t continue playing these demanding high prices that these stores are demanding from us. WE the PEOPLE need help from these price gouging people who are ripping us off like I’ve never seen before anywhere that I’ve been in my whole life. Something has to be done, NOW.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Alright! Who wants to move to Michigan?? NOT ME!

  8. Allar says:

    Government should be shame for allowing this to continue. Kurt Tibbetts is useless and make noise for a few days and let everything go by the way side.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Gas is not expensive unless your only point of reference in the world is the US, which would be tragic, and you have very limited understanding of the concept of economies of scale.

  10. Anonymous says:

    so for the price we pay here for about 5 or 6 gallons of gas, we could buy a whole barrel (30 gallons) in the US..Can we just import our own? even with duty it is still cheaper…

    • Anonymous says:

      you do realize that a barrel of gas is just a measurement and not really how they deliver it right. Also that is the price of unprocessed raw oil…totally useless until processed. Fuel in Canada is more expensive than the US because of the lack of processing facilities. That is why they were trying to get the Keystone pipeline passed to get Canadian oil to the refineries easier and cheaper. So if you think you can refine fuel to the standards required by the car manufacturers by all means give it a go. We could perhaps import cheap fuel from South America but that stuff is like cheap vodka. Kill you car really fast.

      • Anonymous says:

        Gasoline is less than US$1.30 at the dock in the US Gulf. Ocean freight is less than US$0.30. Take out your duty and the rest of the price is for the local terminal and filling stations. I think that’s the part people are complaining about.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Sensing some indignation in the Cayman Nation on the petrol pricing situation…the peasants are revolting! Long live the revolution!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Old pirates yes they rob I.

  13. Don B says:

    If oil pricesare at a 13 year low, and 13 years ago the price of gas here. Was about 2.75 why are we still paying nearly 4.00 for gas????

  14. visitor says:

    Simple. Everybody protest by buying a bicycle! Thats if people are not so lazy to ride one on this small rock 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      This January 2016. WHERE IS KURT TIBBIETTS? Isn’t this the month that his miracle was supposed to be performed on fuel and its pricing? Turtles don’t need gas to run!
      NATO – No action, talk Only.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Little Cayman KYD 5.74, pg price not even displayed at pump? Only gas station on Island, who owns that?

    • Anonymous says:

      Holly shit! 5.74 a gallon on Little Cayman! in the days of 55 gallon drums it wouldn’t cost that much. what the little Island should do is import their own fuel in 1000 gal drums and let that station close their pump. greed must be a cancer?

  16. Tim says:

    Just another day in the private sector……rip rip off and rip off again. Wait let’s rip off the people one more time. Chamber of Commerce where are you.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is what we voted our government to take care of. If gas is under US$2.00 in the states why are we still paying over CI$4.00? Groceries went up when gas went up due to fuel prices, CUC and I believe Water Authority went up due to fuel prices, but why are we still paying the high prices? This government has been in office for 3 years already and have done absolutely nothing for the people of Cayman other then Alden b……g about his Achilles Hlill of employment which again Government is the highest work permit holders of them all baring the Ritz…oh yea Ritz got big breaks from government at the beginning…remember our last Premier gave them so many consessions, promising the Cayman people jobs…yea right.

      • Anonymous says:

        Tha same break given to Dart by that government. Where are the trained people to work in his hotel? No training, more work permits and we are advancing, think about the future. No solution in sight.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile, no movement at all on grocery prices. Two bags of groceries are pushing $200 these days. Anti-consumer collusion isn’t just in the fuel sector.

    • Anonymous says:

      Remember that the anti-consumer collusion occurs at the Caymanian-Caymanian owner level. Opening up inward investment would drastically reduce the cost of living but undermining the oligipolies operating in the market.

      • Anonymous says:

        Where is the proposal to lease the farmers government property in High Rock? It has been years since that was on the table. People with ideas,Moho can’t formulate them and make an intelligent decision. Promises, promises. Promises are only made to fools.

  18. Anonymous says:

    why has there been no reduction in cayman airways prices?……the only airline in the world that runs a loss on charging folks $450 for 1 hr flights…….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  19. Anonymous says:

    By GEORGE that’s expensive gas.

  20. George Ebanks says:

    Time for action!…time for baby talk long past!!
    PUBLIC MARCH IN PROTEST of grave injustice and INACTION by the PPM Govt on this critical issue that’s directly impacting our cost of living is being planned for February 2016.
    Question is:-
    1. Will YOU become INVOLVED THIS TIME??
    2. Will YOU STAND UNITED and allow US THE PEOPLE to speak with ONE VOICE against this grave injustice that has prevailed for far too long???
    IF NOT NOW!..WHEN???

    • Anonymous says:

      Will there be free food?

    • Anonymous says:

      Do not worry, I will show up in my big gas guzzling SUV with a big sign complaining about the price of gas. If you want to lower you cost…lower your consumption…oh wait….if we lower the consumption then the gas companies will increase the price due to cost of delivery. Hmmm…guess its time for Cayman to get off the grid….no wait, cant even add more alternative power to the grid because CUC has capped the KW limit and has reached it (Mostly Dart mind you). Ok get government involved…wait they make millions a year in tax revenue from Fossil Fuels……OK guess I’m just going to have to live with the current price of fuel and be thankful that no-one has run out yet. Not sure where the OPEC countries have found all the surplus fuel to keep the prices so low but I cant imagine they will stay like that for long. (Unless they have located another planet with unlimited resources)

  21. Knot S Smart says:

    Precious Kurt seems to have fallen asleep on this…
    Speaking of sleeping – there is no better sleep than immediately after a big plate of turtle stew…
    Please can someone wake him up…

    • Anonymous says:

      he’s in hibernation…..
      or maybe hes working hard at not changing a few speed signs on west bay road….zzzzzzzzzz

  22. Anonymous says:

    I have no objection to current prices so long as the local distributors maintain these prices at current levels when the price per barrel moves back up above $50.

  23. Anonymous says:

    feed up w/ high Gas prices in the Brac, its not only the Company’s is gouging, its the gas stations too

  24. Anonymous says:

    Interests, interests, lodge and interests-how about a collective court case in the UK about cartels and monopolies, lack of transparency, dodgy dealings blah blah blah..and huge fines to be distributed back to the consumer.that would wake a few people up? Come on you greedy scum bags, get with the rest of the world.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Stop whining about this! Gas prices in the UK have just dropped to roughly £4.50 a gallon – that’s about CI$5.25 so nobody is being hard done by here. Just because you’ve decided to own some gas-guzzling monster on a 20-mile long island doesn’t entitle you to expect cheapo gas to run it. There’s a simple solution to gas prices – buy smaller cars.

    • George Ebanks says:

      No comparison at all @3:17!..the UK taxes heavely your North Sea brent to pay for ITS socialist programs.
      It is a socialist country after all…at least it operates like one.
      Taxes for cradle to grave services= socialist practices!
      Nuff said…yawn…

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s telling him George, he probably works for Rubis. George you got to follow the money, find out which Caymanians are getting a piece of the 100 million dollar per year action.
        That’s why we can’t get the prices changed.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oil revenue is about 5% of UK income. A large proportion of that comes from sales of Brent for non-petrol use as it is too high quality to waste on the pumps. But heaven forbid that a nation decided to provide free health care and education for all and supports the needy and the old. Shocking and downright un-Christian. Far better that people could drive gas guzzling cars cheaply. Gas in Cayman is cheap, get over it and get a life.

    • Anonymous says:

      3.17-methinks you live on a different planet.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just because you’re willing to put up with those prices doesn’t mean the rest of us have to lie down and take it.

  26. Anonymous says:

    yawn…give me the cost data and 10 mins with a calculator and i’ll give you the answer…..zzzzzzz

  27. Anonymous says:

    No mystery here. Politicians making out like bandits again. There is an unhealthy cartel arrayed against the people. The winners are politicians and oil companies and we lose again.
    Perhaps Kurt is too busy with the traffic lights?

  28. Anonymous says:

    Rubis and Sol are clearing at least one hundred million dollars a year profit on the fuel they are selling to us on this Island and our polititions are to stupid to do anything about it.

    We could build an oil facility for ourselves and pay for it in one year by importing our own fuel and selling it for $4.00 for one year, but they are to stupid to figure that out. I guess that’s why they are polititions and not businessmen.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey, any businessman is able to do just what you’ve said. But they’re not. Why is that you say? Because the numbers don’t add up like you think they should?

    • Anonymous says:

      They don’t need to, they control and have interests in the current system.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Frigging disgusting, sick of the rass klatt toture and sufferation…

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