Posted: Sunday, October 9, 2022. 12:05 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Breaking Belize News (BBN) has confirmed with a reliable source in Western Cayo that Guatemalans, mostly from the Melchor area, have been coming across the border to buy liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from local distributors who are selling LPG imported into Belize by the National Gas Company Limited (NGCL).
We have been informed that the practice has been going on for some time and is not, strictly speaking, illegal.
But why does it happen? We are told that two main things draw Guatemalan consumers – the lower price and the quality of the mixture.
Belize’s legislated standard of 70 percent propane and 30 percent butane is more attractive because this mixture burns with more heat energy and lasts longer – on average, about 10 to 15 days per tank more than the mixture offered in Guatemala itself.
The other lure is the price. While we could not confirm actual prices, we are told that on average, Belize’s LPG, at $139 per 100-pound cylinder in urban areas and $141 per 100-pound cylinder in rural areas, is cheaper than the Melchor-based LPG even taking into account exchange rates for Guatemalan quetzals to Belize dollars. In any event, most consumers do not buy that much, chiefly because the tanks in Guatemala come pre-loaded whereas Belize allows you to fill up for whatever amount you like.
The fact remains though, that indeed the prices on the Guatemala side of the border are more expensive than in Belize, if that were not the case, Guatemalans would not be purchasing Belizean LPG. Essentially wholesalers and distributors in Guatemala are selling LPG there for a higher price than the National Gas Company and local distributors are selling it here.
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