Government closes in on relief for petroleum product retailers – Eye Witness News

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government is close to finding a solution that could bring some relief to local oil traders, Economic Affairs Minister Senator Michael Halkitis said yesterday.

He provided an update on the government’s efforts on the sidelines of a meeting of the Rotary Club of West Nassau.

Michael Halkitis, Minister of Economic Affairs

Halkitis said: “We are in discussion with them. We are very close to a solution where we want to provide them with some relief in their operations.

“We are also looking at the whole pricing program as we also intend to sit down with wholesalers and those bringing the fuel in bulk, including looking at ways to reduce shipping costs as this is It’s really sped up and contributes to the cost of landing a lot of cargo, including fuel.

With motorists already paying higher prices at the pump, Halktiis said it was very difficult to see any increase in retailer margins on fuel, adding that, fortunately, fuel prices were starting to come down.

Petroleum retailers have asked the government to review their fuel margins and have met with the government several times over the past few months, although no definitive results have emerged from those discussions. Retailers currently earn a fixed margin of $0.54 per gallon on gasoline and $0.34 on diesel — margins that don’t change when fuel prices rise. Operators pointed out that their margins were too low for them to remain viable.

Jhe war between Russia and Ukraine has led to a significant increase in the cost of fuel worldwide. A recent study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) noted that the Bahamas – based on 2019 figures – is the largest importer of Russian gas and oil in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

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