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National Gas Company puts butane prices ‘in perspective’

Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2020. 6:11 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The National Gas Company Limited ( NGC) points to an ‘apples to apples’ comparison with regard to the ongoing situation with increased prices for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), arguing that prices now are actually lower than they were at the same point last year.

The NGC in a press release listed indexed Mont Belvieu prices – ” a consolidation of trade transactions between buyers and sellers of LPG” – show prices last year at $5.18 per gallon here when the U.S. index price was US$0.45, compared to the current US$0.52 and BZ$4.24. The difference, they say, is that the “oligopoly” of former importers held sway then, whereas a mostly Belizean owned entity does so now. And they did not approach the Bureau of Standards to lower prices at the time, according to the NGC.

It was around that time that the seeds for the NGC began to be sowed with respect to legislation promulgated in the House of Representatives.

In the ensuing year prices dipped to US$0.24 and were regulated here at $3.55 in April – before the ongoing increase.

The NGC also repeats its claim about prices in Guatemala, where the parent companies of the ex-Belize importers control over 90 percent market share. It concludes once again that “The introduction of NGC into the LPG supply chain has levelled the playing field for distribution and retail sales. Belizean distributors are currently procuring over 40% of the domestic supply directly from NGC and competing with the three former importers on this now level playing field.”


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