Jamaica Fuel Prices Skyrocket 10.8% In 9 weeks
Motorists and businesses have been hit by spiralling fuel prices, and industry interests are clamouring for intervention amid an overall 10.8 per cent jump at the pump over the last nine weeks.
Operators of diesel vehicles have borne the greatest punishment with a 13.4 per cent rise since December 9 and could face more pain when new rates are announced by Petrojam this afternoon.
The prices of 87 and 90 gasolene have climbed 9.7 per cent and 9.2 per cent over the period December 9, 2021, to February 3, 2022.
CEO of National Baking Company, Butch Hendrickson, told The Gleaner that fuel has cost his company approximately $750,000 more, per month, over the last five months.
That’s despite a major investment in trucks that are more efficient, utilising 33 per cent less fuel than before.
“We try to buy carefully because we have our own tanks. Over the years, we have changed every burner in every oven or modified them to be way more efficient,” said Hendrickson.
President and CEO of the Jamaica Broilers Group, Christopher Levy, said fuel prices have impacted the cost of doing business in Jamaica.
In January, Jamaica Broilers increased its chicken prices by 10 per cent amid a global supply-chain crisis that has caused a spike in the cost of shipping and grain.
Levy said it was too early to make an assessment of the specific impact of fuel costs on its operation.
“Everything adds up, and what we need to recognise is that we are not out of the woods as a country with this inflationary pressure as yet,” he said.
The Government collects billions each year from a special tax on each litre of fuel but the Opposition People’s National Party has appealed for the removal of the tariff amid soaring prices at the pump.
In mid-June last year, Phillip Paulwell, the opposition spokesperson on energy, called for the Government to remove the fuel tax to offer immediate relief to Jamaicans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
GAS PAIN | Lead Stories Jamaica Gleaner