Don’t buy fuel until Monday if you can avoid it.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has announced reductions in fuel prices, including the first reduction in “cooking gas” since 2011.
Speaking on his radio programme Thursday night, Gonsalves said that as of Monday, the price per gallon of gasoline will move to EC$11.47, down from EC$12.72, a reduction of EC$1.25.
This represents the fifth reduction since October 2014, when the price was EC$15.28 per gallon.
Diesel will now retail for EC$11.05 per gallon, a saving of EC$1.87 on the current price — EC$12.92, the second reduction since October 2014.
There is now a new classification of “low-sulphur diesel”, which will sell for EC$11.80 per gallon, down from EC$12.92, a saving of EC$1.12.
The low-sulphur diesel is more expensive because it is imported from outside the region and, therefore, attracts a higher tariff.
But the biggest saving is on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), commonly called “cooking gas”.
A 20-pound cylinder of cooking gas will now sell for EC$29, down from EC$41.81 — a reduction of EC$12.81.
A 100-pound cylinder of LPG will sell for EC$59.05 less than the current price, falling to EC$138, down from EC$197.05.
The reduction in the prices comes amidst complaints from consumers on various media about the seemingly low reaction of the government to adjust the prices locally even as the price of oil internationally has fallen by more than half since last June to US$50 per barrel.
The government uses a three-month rolling average and the bonus-malus system to determine the price of fuel locally.
During a Chamber of Industry of Commerce event earlier on Thursday, accountant Brian Glasgow, who gave an overview of the 2015 National Budget, was asked to comment on the implications of the falling oil prices on the Vincentian economy.
“Anything that represents a reduction in the cost of living is certainly welcomed,” Glasgow said at the event at which the accounting firm of KPMG presented an overview the 2015 Budget.
The presentation highlighted aspects of the Budget that are of particular interest to the business community.
“Energy, as far as I remember from looking at the financial statements of a number of manufacturing industries — including ECGC and other manufacturing industries — does represent a reasonably significant component of the cost of production.
“To the extent that energy can be reduced and the cost of production falls, that benefits the consumer and it facilitates expansion of the manufacturing sector,” he said.